Asamoah Gyan edges closer to Sunderland exit

 

Sunderland striker Asamoah Gyan's long-term future could become clearer later this week.

Reports in the United Arab Emirates have suggested the 26-year-old Ghana international will undergo a medical at the weekend with a view to completing a permanent move to Al-Ain, where he spent the bulk of last season on loan.

Gyan's 22 goals made him the Pro League's top scorer and helped to clinch the title, and he is widely expected to sign a three-year deal.

Al-Ain chief executive Carlo Nohra stopped short of confirming the move, but revealed that an announcement could be imminent.

He told Sport 360: "Regarding Gyan, there's nothing yet, but we are positive about him staying with us for a few more years. Things will become clear soon."

Gyan's impending departure from the Stadium of Light is one of football's worst-kept secrets.

Manager Martin O'Neill has been candid in his assessment of a situation he inherited and has hinted strongly that he does not expect to see the player in a red and white shirt again.

Sunderland banked around £6million in a loan fee when they negotiated Gyan's temporary move to the Middle East in September last year, and are understood to be in line to receive a similar fee if and when the frontman finally severs his ties with the club.

That would see the Black Cats recoup their investment on the former Rennes player, who would have cost them in excess of £13million had he triggered a series of add-ons in the deal which took him to Wearside in the weeks immediately after he starred in his country's 2010 World Cup finals campaign in South Africa.

Gyan arrived at the Stadium of Light as then manager Steve Bruce landed the man he believed would be the perfect partner for Darren Bent.

He scored 11 goals in his first season in England and ended the campaign as the club's only fit specialist striker in the wake of Bent's shock January departure for Aston Villa.

However, just weeks into last season, and amid claims from Bruce that he had been pressurised to do so after months of speculation over his future, he left for Al-Ain as Nicklas Bendtner arrived in his place.

A striker - and possibly more than one - will be among O'Neill's priorities during what remains of the summer transfer window with only Fraizer Campbell, Ji Dong-won and Connor Wickham currently on the books.

He has been repeatedly linked with Wolves' Steven Fletcher, while West Brom frontman Shane Long woke today to be greeted by headlines suggesting he too could be on the radar.

 

PA

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