Steven Gerrard has signed a two-year deal to manage Al-Ettifaq in Saudi Arabia and now the ex-Aston Villa boss could be set for a summer transfer raid on the Premier League, with a former Liverpool teammate listed among his targets.
Gerrard has been given a significant budget to improve his new outfit in the Pro League and the Merseyside icon could return to his old stomping ground to wrangle Jordan Henderson away from his beloved Reds.
The 33-year-old Liverpool skipper has been at Anfield for 12 years, though Gerrard will hope to persuade the midfielder to seek out a new challenge in the Middle East.
Gerrard to raid the Premier League for signings?
Jordan Henderson isn’t the only current Premier League star coveted by Steven Gerrard, according to reports.
Wantaway Chelsea striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang is also rumoured to be on Gerrard’s radar, though the Gabon international has so far resisted offers to move to the cash-rich clubs in Saudi Arabia.
Former Blues N’Golo Kante, Kalidou Koulibaly and Edouard Mendy have already accepted mammoth deals in the Pro League, and though Moroccan winger Hakim Ziyech’s move in the same direction collapsed, Aubemayang already has a well-worn path to follow if he has a change of heart.
Man City pair Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez also have lucrative offers on the table from Al-Ahli and Al-Hilal respectively, though Gerrard seems to have his sights set elsewhere.
Could Henderson be tempted to move?
Jordan Henderson has been with Liverpool for over a decade and during his time with the Reds, the former Sunderland youngster has won every major honour.
At 33-years-old, Henderson is reaching the twilight of his career and the veteran might be tempted to accept the massive financial windfall that comes with a stint in Saudi Arabia.
A tireless runner and willing worker, Henderson has been a mainstay of Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool team over the past eight years, though the German taskmaster has been working hard to rejuvenate his midfield options this summer.
Alexis Mac Allister and Dominik Szoboszlai have already come through the arrivals door at Anfield since the end of the season, while Liverpool are also plotting moves for Southampton’s Romeo Lavia and Nice’s Khephren Thuram.
By the time the 2023/24 campaign rolls around, Henderson might discover that he has fallen down the pecking order at Liverpool and he could be enticed to by a more prominent role at Al-Ettifaq.
More ex-Liverpool players targeted by Gerrard?
Elsewhere, more speculation has surfaced to suggest that another of Gerrard’s former teammates, Philippe Coutinho and a third ex-Red, Sadio Mane, could link up with Henderson at Al-Ettifaq.
Brazilian schemer Coutinho is still contracted to Gerrard’s former side Aston Villa, though the 31-year-old hasn’t enjoyed the best of spells in the Midlands and a fresh start in the Middle East could appeal to the Selecao international.
Sadio Mane meanwhile, failed to impress at Bayern Munich in his maiden campaign in Germany, though the wide attacker will feel he still has plenty to offer elite-level football and a move to Saudi Arabia’s Pro League might be too big a step down for the explosive finisher.