Demarai Gray has completed his transfer from Everton to the Saudi Pro League team Al Ettifaq.


Demarai Gray scored 12 goals in 75 games for Premier League side Everton. PA

Saudi Pro League side Al Ettifaq have completed the signing of Everton winger Demarai Gray in a deal reported to be worth around £8 million ($9.96 million).

Gray had been at loggerheads with Everton manager Sean Dyche who had claimed the winger effectively went on strike, making it clear he did not want to train as he believed he had secured a move away.

On Thursday, the transfer was confirmed and Gray’s spell at Everton – who he joined from Bayer Leverkusen in 2021 – is over, after making 75 appearances and scoring 12 goals for the club.

He will become the third player with Merseyside links at Al Ettifaq, who are managed and captained by two former Liverpool midfielders in Steven Gerrard and Jordan Henderson, respectively.

“After two years with Everton, it’s time to say goodbye. I wish everyone at the club the very best and will be forever proud to have played for this great team,” Gray, who had yet to play a game for Everton this season, said in a statement.

“To the fans, you were always incredible – thank you for your support. You made it a privilege to wear the shirt.

“There has been a lot of speculation about my situation all summer. The truth is, I gave my all to this club on and off the pitch through good and bad.

“I was ready to play as much football as possible this season but it felt like this was not going to happen. It’s time for my next chapter. I am match fit and excited to get playing.”

The 27-year-old’s Everton career ended in bitter fashion, with Gray posting on social media last weekend: “Everton fans have always been great with me but it’s so difficult to play for someone [Dyche] who don’t show you respect as a person.”

Dyche responded by telling the club’s website that Gray “didn’t want to train” and “didn’t want to be here” after the possibility of a move to Saudi Arabia emerged.

“Demarai told us a move was done, which was interesting to hear,” the former Burnley manager said.

“We reminded him of the truth of the fact that no moves are done without this club’s say so. That’s the truth of it.

“This club will make decisions on the future of you as players and not the other way around. It’s an unfortunate one because I try to keep our business in-house. I think on this occasion, it’s right to reply.”

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