Steven Gerrard demands Aston Villa ‘reunion’ at new club Al Ettifaq – as three transfers eyed
The latest Premier League transfer news as Steven Gerrard lines up players from Aston Villa, Chelsea and Liverpool for new club Al-Ettifaq.
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Former Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard is said to be eager to get his transfer business done early after being named the new head coach of Saudi Pro League side Al-Ettifaq.
The 43-year-old, who was sacked by the Villans in October and replaced by Unai Emery, has reportedly already eyed up three potential targets, including one player from Villa Park.
Saudi Arabia has been the talk of the summer so far as the likes of Karim Benzema, N’Golo Kante, Ruben Neves and Kalidou Koulibaly have all swapped the Premier League for the Middle East.
Gerrard, who himself could be considered a coup for the Saudi Pro League, wants to continue that trend by trying to convince others from the English top flight to make the switch.
CBS Sports claims Philippe Coutinho has been shortlisted as a priority target for Ettifaq this window. Gerrard was the man to bring the Brazilian to Villa Park and he’s said to want a reunion.
Now 31 years of age, the former Liverpool and Barcelona playmaker did brilliantly during an initial loan deal but has been rather underwhelming ever since signing on a permanent transfer.
Coutinho has scored just one goal since August 2022 and that was during his most recent appearance – in the 4-2 defeat against Arsenal on February 18.
An injury suffered in that match - as well as a setback afterward - kept him out until the end of the season and it could end up being his last appearance in claret and blue.
Meanwhile, Gerrard is reportedly eying an audacious move for Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, as he is “one of the possible signings being lined up”, according to The Daily Mail.
It’s claimed the 33-year-old “could be tempted by the riches on offer in the booming Saudi Pro League”, especially with his former teammate in the dugout.
The same report states Chelsea striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who is “looking for a fresh start” following a disappointing season, is another target for Gerrard.
Ettifaq finished seventh out of 16 teams in the Saudi Pro League last term, nine points above the relegation zone. It’s hoped Gerrard can help the club compete with the division’s elite.