Demarai Gray to join exodus to Saudi Arabia as Everton bank profit on out-of-favour winger

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Demarai Gray is set to join Al-Ettifaq after Everton accepted a £10m bid from the Saudi Arabian club.

The winger, who was a target for Fulham for much of the summer, has been involved in a row with manager Sean Dyche after failing to get a move before the European transfer window closed.

Now Gray, who has not been involved in Everton’s matchday squads this season, will team up with Jordan Henderson and Gini Wijnaldum to play for Steven Gerrard.

In a seeming reference to Dyche, Gray posted on Instagram on Sunday: “Everton fans have always been great with me but it’s so difficult to play for someone who don’t show you respect as a person.”

The Everton manger responded by telling the club website that the former Leicester and Bayer Leverkusen forward “didn’t want to train” and “didn’t want to be here”.

Dyche said: “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.”

The 52-year-old dropped Gray for his first game in charge, the 1-0 over Arsenal, but ended up recalling him to play as a makeshift striker in the final-day victory over Bournemouth that kept Everton up.

However, while his departure was expected earlier and Everton were willing to let him join Fulham earlier if they found a replacement, his sale means that four attack-minded players will have gone in September with no one arriving after strikers Neal Maupay and Tom Cannon left on deadline day, along with winger Alex Iwobi, who did move to Craven Cottage.

Gray scored 12 goals in 75 games for Everton since Rafa Benitez signed him for £1.75m in 2021.