Former Nottingham Forest man close to completing Saudi move

Jesse Lingard is getting closer to joining Saudi Pro League side Al Ettifaq after leaving Nottingham Forest, but he won’t be able to make his debut until January.

Steven Gerrard, the manager of Ettifaq, is eager to add Lingard to his side after the attacking midfielder scored in a friendly against Al Khaldiya. Negotiations for a permanent contract are ongoing, but if Lingard signs a contract, he will not be eligible to play until the new year.

This is due to Saudi Pro League rules stating that clubs can only have a maximum of eight foreign players in their matchday roster. Al Ettifaq already has ten registered players, including former Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson, a high-profile signing this summer.


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It means that the club will have to release a handful of international players in order for Lingard to complete the move. Lingard told Sky Sports on his next move in the summer: “I’m considering all options.” I’ve never ruled out any team or club, so it’s just a matter of finding the ideal team for me.

“Saudi Arabia is doing big things, and it will be one of the hotspots to visit in the next couple of years or so.” I’m not shocked that the major names are relocating there. Like I said, they’re doing great things, and it’s something I’d consider – I haven’t ruled it out. At the end of the day, everything has to be correct for me. I have to trust my instincts, yet I’m still hungry and determined to succeed.”

Lingard left Nottingham Forest in the summer after his one-year contract expired. He appeared in 20 games in all competitions and scored two goals.

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