ASAMOAH Gyan has tried to claim that his recent move away from Sunderland was not motivated by money.
And in a television interview in the United Arab Emirates, the striker says that his relationship with Steve Bruce has not been ruined and that technically he remains a Sunderland player.
“I’m still a player of Sunderland,” he said. “I didn’t have any confrontation with anyone. We are still alright. I was cool with the manager.
“People say I moved because of money.
“You need to be happy – although I’m not saying I wasn’t happy at Sunderland or I wasn’t happy in the Premier League.
“I had to decide with my family and everything and they were alright with my decision so I had to just move.
“It helped myself and Sunderland as well.
“In life you have to experience things. I think moving here I don’t regret at all because Al Ain is a great club and I’m ready to give everything
“It’s another step in my life.
“Although I’m still a player of Sunderland. I came on loan so I’ll see how my future lies as Al Ain is an important club in Asia. I’m really, really happy to be here.”
Gyan, who could make his debut for new club Al Ain this Friday, knows that his move has been controversial and attracted much condemnation of him on a personal level.
It’s understandable, given the low profile of the super-rich league and the fact that attendances got so bad in the tiny Arab oil state that last year the UAE FA stepped in to disband and then relaunch the country’s professional league.
Now a determined bid is being made to up the profile of football – as it is in several Gulf states – especially with the World Cup due to be held in Qatar little more than a decade from now.
Among the well-known footballing figures being involved in the competition this season are Maradona, who will be in charge of Dubai club Al Wasl, French international David Trezeguet and ex-Inter Milan midfielder Luis Jimenez.
“I think the Asian league is improving,” said Gyan. “Not just the big players going to the Asian league. It’s got a lot of great players and they are enjoying their football here.
“The English Premiership is one of the best in the world. I do respect that.
“I enjoyed myself really last season.
“But moving to the Asian league is another step in my life.
“Who knows maybe I can bring some exposure in the Asian league. I’ve got more fans in Africa and more fans in Europe also.”