Jesse Lingard in line for Saudi Pro League contract after joining Al Ettifaq training

  • Lingard has been a free agent since leaving Nottingham Forest
  • West Ham decided not to offer him a contract
  • 30-year-old is now training with Al Ettifaq

Lingard could head to Saudi Arabia
Lingard could head to Saudi Arabia / Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

England international Jesse Lingard is closing in on a move to the Saudi Pro League after linking up with Steven Gerrard's Al Ettifaq, sources have confirmed to 90min.

Lingard, who has been a free agent since leaving Nottingham Forest at the end of last season, has spent much of the past few weeks training with MLS side D.C. United and former club West Ham United, but he did not receive a contract offer from either team.

"We like Jesse a lot but I just don’t know if we need another player in the position he would probably play for us," West Ham boss David Moyes said after Lingard departed.

30-year-old Lingard is now in Saudi Arabia and is training with Al Ettifaq in the hope of earning a full-time contract. Sources have confirmed to 90min that a deal is in the works and will be offered if he can prove his fitness.

"We know Jesse Lingard extremely well from England," Gerrard told Al Arabiya of a potential deal. "I've watched him for many years so I'm aware of the talent.

"Jesse is out of a club at the moment, he's not contracted, so he's free to train with anyone else. He's coming to use our facilities, train with our players, maintain his fitness. That also gives us an opportunity to analyse where he's at. We'll do that in the coming weeks.

"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 made a decision 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."

Steven Gerrard
Gerrard is excited to work with Lingard / Francois Nel/GettyImages

Lingard would add to the British contingent at Al Ettifaq which, as well as Gerrard, includes Jordan Henderson and Jack Hendry. Former Premier League stars Georginio Wijnaldum, Moussa Dembele and Demarai Gray are also on the books.

Lingard confirmed earlier in the summer that a move to Saudi Arabia was already in his thinking.

"Saudi Arabia are doing big things, and in the next year or so it will be one of the hotspots to go to," he said.

"I'm not really surprised that loads of big names are moving out there. Obviously it's something I'm going to consider as well, I've not ruled that out either - like I say, it's just got to be right for me at the end of the day."