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Steven Gerrard has resumed talks with Saudi Pro League team Al Ettifaq over a return to management, sources told ESPN, and is close to agreeing to a deal to take charge of the Dammam-based club.

The former Liverpool captain, who was fired by Aston Villa in November 2022 after less than 12 months at Villa Park, rejected an initial offer to move to Al Ettifaq last month.

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But sources told ESPN the 43-year-old is again open to a move to Saudi Arabia after further discussions with the club hierarchy.

Al Ettifaq have been without a permanent manager since French coach Patrice Carteron left his position at the club in February. But they have identified Gerrard as the favoured option to rebuild the team after finishing seventh in the 16-team Pro League last season — 35 points behind eventual champions Al Ittihad, who have since added Real Madrid forward Karim Benzema to their squad.

Gerrard, who guided Rangers to their first Scottish title in 10 years in 2021, has been linked with the managerial vacancies at Leicester City and Leeds United — both relegated from the Premier League last season — in recent weeks. But he missed out on the Leicester job to Enzo Maresca, and sources told ESPN that Leeds are expected to hire former Norwich coach Daniel Farke.

Should the former England captain resume his coaching career at Al Ettifaq, he would join a stream of high-profile figures who have recently made the move to Saudi Arabia, including Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo and N’Golo Kante.

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Gerrard reopens talks over job in Saudi Arabia – sources