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Gray leaves Everton for Saudi club Al-Ettifaq

London (AFP) – Demarai Gray has left Everton for Al-Ettifaq ahead of Thursday’s transfer deadline in the Saudi Pro League.

The 27-year-old forward is the latest Premier League player to head to the Gulf nation, joining former Liverpool midfielder Jordan Henderson at the club managed by Steven Gerrard.

Gray’s departure from Goodison Park for an undisclosed fee, reported to be GBP8 million (USD10 million), comes after the deterioration of his relationship with Everton manager Sean Dyche.

The winger aired his grievances on Instagram, saying it was “difficult to play for someone who doesn’t show you respect as a person”.

Dyche responded by saying Gray had effectively gone on strike, making clear he did not want to train as he believed he had secured a move away.

The former Leicester player made 75 appearances for Everton, scoring 12 goals, after returning to England from Bayer Leverkusen in 2021.

He has not featured for Everton this season.

The Jamaica international said in a statement that he would be “forever proud” to have played for Everton, who are in the relegation zone after a poor start to the season.

“There has been a lot of speculation about my situation all summer,” he added. “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.”

Everton’s Demarai Gray in action during the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Everton at the London Stadium in London. PHOTO: AP