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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 21 November 2018

Al Ain to ‘study offers’ for Asamoah Gyan but expect Ghana striker to stay

The Arabian Gulf League's most consistent marksman, wanted by other clubs in Asia, is expected to stay at Al Ain - for now.
Asamoah Gyan has scored 95 goals in 83 league matches in the four seasons he's spent at Al Ain. Mostafa Reda / Al Ittihad
Asamoah Gyan has scored 95 goals in 83 league matches in the four seasons he's spent at Al Ain. Mostafa Reda / Al Ittihad

AL AIN // Al Ain expect Asamoah Gyan will remain at the club next season, although they say they are obliged to assess offers put forward by potential suitors.

The Arabian Gulf League champions have received several enquiries this summer regarding the Ghanaian striker, with Qatar’s Lekhwiya and Shanghai SIPG, the Chinese Super League side, believed to have formally registered their interest.

Rumours last month claimed Lekhwiya had bid Dh102 million for Gyan, with Shanghai reported to have readied a package involving a salary worth £250,000 (Dh1.43m) per week.

However, while Al Ain have not completely ruled out the sale, they appear to expect Gyan to stay — for now, at least. The forward, who in four seasons in the UAE has scored 95 goals in 83 league matches, is contracted to the club until 2018. He signed an extension to his original deal 12 months ago.

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“Everybody talks about Gyan,” Mohammed bin Omair, an Al Ain board member, told The National. “He’s a good player and he is our player. We do not lose him. But there are many offers coming to us, so we have to study these to see yes or no. All the clubs in the world are like this. And also Gyan himself has to study them to see what he needs.”

Asked if he was confident Gyan would line up for Al Ain next season, Bin Omair said: “Until now, yes. Inshallah — he’s still with us at the moment. We have not decided anything about it; we’re still waiting. I think in these coming two weeks everything will be clear for us, the coach and the technical committee.”

Gyan, 29, has been a huge success since joining Al Ain in 2011 from Premier League side Sunderland, initially on loan. He made the move permanent the following summer after scoring 22 goals to finish as the league’s top scorer, a haul that helped Al Ain secure a first UAE championship in eight years.

Since then, Gyan has twice more captured the Golden Boot, while he was the top scorer in last year’s Asian Champions League as Al Ain advanced to the semi-finals. In all, he has won three league titles and one President’s Cup crown with the Garden City club, although the 2014/15 campaign was by far Gyan’s least productive. Dealing with a persistent quadriceps problem, he played only 17 league matches — five as a substitute — scoring 13 times.

Should Gyan stay, Al Ain believe he will improve on that tally next season.

“We already renewed with Gyan last year and he’s fine,” Bin Omair said. “He is important for us. We would not lose him over the contract or money. Gyan’s relationship with us is very, very close. He loves the club and Al Ain, and we love him also.”

jmcauley@thenational.ae

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