Sunderland sensationally let striker Asamoah Gyan depart on a season-long loan move to the United Arab Emirates.
Despite having only on-loan Nicklas Bendtner, converted midfielder Stephane Sessegnon and youngsters Ji Dong-wong and Connor Wickham to choose from up front, Sunderland have let their £13million record signing join Al-Ain after becoming unsettled at the Stadium of Light.
Al-Ain club made an approach to sign Gyan on a permanent deal this week, but the Black Cats were only prepared to agree a temporary move.
Manager Steve Bruce said: “Anyone who has seen Asamoah play will know that he hasn’t been himself in recent months. This option suits all parties at the present time and the club is well-protected in the deal.
“Asamoah has three years remaining on his contract and of course my wish would be that he finds his spark again and we see him in red and white stripes next season in the form that first attracted us to him.”