ASAMOAH GYAN is almost certain to remain in the Middle East until the end of the season despite Martin O’Neill pledging to look at the on-loan striker’s situation.
When asked about Gyan at his unveiling earlier this week, O’Neill said he would discuss the striker’s loan deal with international development director Niall Quinn, with Sunderland clearly lacking firepower in the early stages of the campaign.
“It’s absolutely something that I’ll address,” said O’Neill.
“I have to talk to Niall about exactly where we stand on that. His position will definitely be looked at.
“He started off brilliantly, then things tapered away a little bit, so the potential is there. I don’t know the lad at all, but I will have a look at it.”
But O’Neill will be told by Quinn that any bid to bring Gyan back from his year-long spell with United Arab Emirates outfit Al-Ain looks a non-starter.
Al-Ain paid a £6million loan fee to take the 26-year-old to the Middle East and there is NO recall clause in the contract.
The only way Gyan could return to Wearside is if both clubs agreed to terminate the loan agreement.
That would result in Sunderland losing out on the bulk of the fee they for received the Ghana international, while Al-Ain would be similarly reluctant to let their prize asset leave.
Gyan is unlikely to want to miss out on his handsome pay packet in the Middle East either, while his chances of returning to Sunderland early are further hampered by his presence at the African Cup of Nations finals for six weeks in the New Year.
But O’Neill’s appointment will increase the chances of Gyan playing for Sunderland again.
Ex-boss Steve Bruce had resolved to offload the ex-Rennes striker after he orchestrated a move away from the club following the end of the August transfer window.
But O’Neill will start with a clean slate and Gyan is undoubtedly an asset if he shows the same mental application from the early part of his time at Sunderland.