ASAMOAH Gyan has admitted he quit Sunderland for the millions he can earn in the obscurity of the United Arab Emirates Pro League.
The striker stunned everyone at Sunderland – not least manager Steve Bruce, who thought he had secured the player’s future on Wearside just a day earlier – by forcing through a move to the UAE’s leading side Al-Ain.
Having agreed to stay at the Stadium of Light on Thursday, Gyan suddenly had a complete change of heart, made his feelings crystal clear to the club and Sunderland, weary of what had become a long-running saga behind the scenes, acted swiftly and decisively to ensure the situation did not fester further.
In the brief comments he has made so far since the move, Gyan has implied that Sunderland have to accept a degree of responsibility for his departure for sanctioning the move.
But the reality is that he and his agents have been the sole driving forces in his exit.
“The offer was too good to refuse,” said Gyan. “But I did not have a choice once Sunderland accepted Al-Ain’s proposal. I am now looking forward to playing in the UAE.
“I know this move will come as a surprise to many, considering the things that I have said in the past month but sometimes fans do not understand why we do certain things. In due course things will come to light.”
One thing which has come to light is the fact that the financial offer made to Gyan by the Emirati royalty-owned club is colossal
It is believed the striker will receive a signing on fee and wages in the region of £6m over the course of a year-long loan which is likely to be converted to a permanent move next year.
Sunderland have done well out of the situation imposed on them, negotiating an astounding £6m fee from Al-Ain for the year-long loan.
And it is the Black Cats who have ensured that the deal is not permanent, leaving them with a player they could sell on a year from now, who would almost certainly give the club a sizeable profit on the £13m they paid Rennes for his services a year ago.
The move brings to an end a situation which has been dragging on for several months behind the scenes.
There were whispers inside football in the summer that a Middle Eastern club had offered a king’s ransom to Gyan if he made the move.
Clearly the offer played on the striker’s mind – he was poor in his pre-season and a shadow of his former self so far in the current campaign, with his body language and attitude all wrong.
The move didn’t materialise before transfer deadline day and Bruce thought he had his main striker at Sunderland’s disposal for the remainder of the season, only for Gyan to make a complete U-turn.
Sunderland have made the most out of the situation financially but it is still a massive blow to the club at a time when the team is struggling for form.
Bruce admitted: “It leaves a bitter taste in the mouth. He has been unsettled for weeks and months but this is the danger when you surround yourselves with certain people. We’re talking about five agents visiting him in his hotel room, trying to talk him into a move.
“One thing I’ve always said is that you don’t try and keep a player at your club if he doesn’t want to be there – if he doesn’t want to play for the team, if he doesn’t want to play for the shirt then what’s the point.
“So we’ve tried to cut our cloth and get the best deal we can under the circumstances. Now we have to draw a line under it and move on.”