Despite travelling to Saudi Arabia last week in order to finalise an agreement to take over at Al-Ettifaq with local reports claiming the move was 100% done, Steven Gerrard has this week pulled out of managing the Saudi club at the last minute.
“I was invited over there to look at a potential offer, which I did,” Gerrard told Channel 4 during England national team coverage this week. “I have been analysing that over the last couple of days. But, as we stand right now, I won’t be taking that offer up.”
Gerrard has not shed further light on the decision, but by most accounts the situation with Al-Ettifaq was well past the potential offer and analysing stages when Gerrard determined that the Saudi league didn’t represent his best option.
In place of Al-Ettifaq, a flurry of new reports have now begun to link Gerrard with Championship returnees Sheffield Wednesday, who surprised many lower league watchers when they decided to part ways with Darren Moore at the start of the week.
Sheffield were one of League One’s dominant sides last season, earning 96 point but missing out on second place and automatic promotion to Ipswitch by just two points before going on to qualify for promotion by winning the playoffs.
The expectation, then, was that Moore would continue to guide them in the Championship in the coming season. Now, though, it could be Gerrard seeking to revive his managerial career by establishing Wednesday in the second tier in 2023-24.