Jesse Lingard, a Three Lions squad member, has linked up with Steven Gerrard’s Al Ettifaq and is edging closer to a transfer to the Saudi Pro League.
Since leaving Nottingham Forest after last season, Lingard has been a free agent and has spent a significant amount of the past several weeks training with both his old team West Ham United and MLS’ D.C. United. Neither team, however, has offered him a contract.
In an effort to land a full-time deal, 30-year-old Lingard is now in Saudi Arabia training with Al-Ettifaq. An agreement is in the works and will be provided if he can demonstrate his fitness level, sources have revealed to 5Times.
If a deal is indeed struck, Lingard would join the increasing number of British players at Al Ettifaq, which already includes Jordan Henderson and Jack Hendry in addition to manager Steven Gerrard. There are also contracts for former Premier League talents Georginio Wijnaldum, Moussa Dembele, and Demarai Gray.
About a prospective move for Lingard, Gerrard told Al Arabiya, “We know Jesse really well from England. I’ve known about his skill since I’ve observed him for a long time. Jesse knows that there’s an opportunity for him to try and convince us to come to the club. It’s something that we’re analysing and we haven’t decided on that yet. We’re delighted to have him, he’s a fantastic footballer and we’ll analyse the situation closely in the coming days and weeks.
Jesse is currently free to practice with any club he chooses because he is not under contract anywhere. He is visiting us to make use of our facilities, train with our players, and keep himself healthy. That also provides us a chance to evaluate where he is right now.”