Demarai Gray is on the verge of completing an £8 million move to the Saudi Pro League side Al-Ettifaq from Everton.

The 27-year-old winger is expected to sign a four-year contract with Steven Gerrard’s team, where he will play alongside Jordan Henderson and Georginio Wijnaldum, after an acrimonious fallout with the Everton manager, Sean Dyche.

• Jordan Henderson should admit that Saudi move was for the money

After Everton initially refused to sanction Gray’s departure, the former England youth international wrote on Instagram: “Everton fans have always been great with me but it’s so difficult to play for someone who doesn’t show you respect as a person.”

Dyche tried to set the record straight after the English transfer window closed on Friday, insisting Gray was still part of his squad and that he felt compelled to respond to the player’s comments.

“It’s an unfortunate one because I try to keep our business in-house. I think on this occasion, it’s right to reply,” Dyche said on Tuesday.

“Demarai made it clear that he felt he was getting a move and he told us a move was done, which was interesting to hear from a player. We reminded him of the truth of the fact that no moves are done without this club’s say so.

Gray will play alongside Henderson, above, at Al-Ettifaq, who are managed by Gerrard

Gray will play alongside Henderson, above, at Al-Ettifaq, who are managed by Gerrard


“We look after these players; we look at all the different ways of looking after them: mental and well-being is big, the tactics and technical, the physical. When it comes to a time like that then you go, ‘Well, hang on a minute. You made it clear you didn’t want to train, you didn’t want to be here, and you also said there was a move that was a done deal’.

“We said it’s not a done deal because this club is the most important. This club will make decisions on the future of you as players and not the other way around. I think it’s right to let our fans know that’s the truth.”

Al-Shabab had also previously expressed an interest in Gray before instead turning to the Atletico Madrid winger, Yannick Carrasco, but Al-Ettifaq continued their pursuit this week, with the Saudi Pro League transfer window not closing until midnight on Thursday.

Gray, who came through Birmingham City’s academy, spent five years at Leicester City and made 12 appearances during the club’s title-winning campaign. He joined Everton from Bayer Leverkusen in 2021 and made 75 appearances in all competitions for the club, scoring 12 goals.