x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Arabian Gulf League: Al Ain's Gyan passed on Galatasaray offer

After two Golden Boots, Ghanaian pledged his immediate future to the league champions, writes John McAuley.

Al Ain’s Asamoah Gyan, right, turned down an offer from Galatasaray this summer and he is now back training with the champions in Austria. Al Ain
Al Ain’s Asamoah Gyan, right, turned down an offer from Galatasaray this summer and he is now back training with the champions in Austria. Al Ain

Asamoah Gyan said he turned down a lucrative offer to join Galatasaray, the renowned Turkish club, earlier this summer.

The Al Ain striker, 27, has been the UAE top flight's most prolific marksman during his two seasons here, scoring 53 goals in 40 matches to twice seal the division's Golden Boot.

Gyan's performances have attracted interest from outside the country, with the Ghanaian hinting in May that he would consider continuing his career away from the successive league champions.

However, Gyan has pledged his immediate future to Al Ain, who are currently in Austria on a two-week training camp ahead of the new Arabian Gulf League season.

Gyan rejoined Jorge Fossati's squad last Thursday, having represented Ghana against Turkey in Istanbul the previous night. He scored both Ghana goals in a 2-2 draw.

Speaking after the game, Gyan claimed Galatasaray, the reigning Super Liga champions, had approached him. The Turkish side were reportedly willing to provide a weekly salary of €150,000 (Dh734,000), which would have made Gyan the club's highest earner, supplanting Didier Drogba, the former Chelsea forward. At Al Ain, it is believed he earns €3m per year.

"I had the opportunity to come here, but it didn't go through," Gyan said. "As a footballer, things happen if you do well, definitely there'll be teams attracted to you.

"What I have to say is my opportunity to come here didn't happen and so I have to just continue with my career. I'm happy with what I'm doing now, and I feel stable at Al Ain."

Gyan signed a permanent four-year deal with Al Ain last summer following a successful season on loan from Sunderland, the English Premier League side. In 2012/13, his 31 goals ensured he became the first player to reach the 30-goal mark in a single season.

Meanwhile, midfielder Mirel Radoi has joined Gyan in confirming his commitment to Al Ain. There had been speculation last month the Romanian would follow Cosmin Olaroiu, his compatriot and Al Ain's outgoing manager, in leaving the Garden City, with a potential transfer to Al Ahli mooted.

Olaroiu had taken the reigns at the Rashid Stadium, and Radoi played under the coach at Steaua Bucharest and then with Al Hilal, the Saudi Arabian side.

For now, though, Radoi wants to remain at Al Ain, saying: "I still have one year with Al Ain on my contract and I have no idea about these rumours.

"What I know and what I confirm is that I'm with Al Ain for one more season and I always look forward for Al Ain satisfying my personal aspirations, and the management's and fans'.

"Cosmin's departure to any club, even Real Madrid, has nothing to do with me. I'm committed to a contract with Al Ain and I don't have to be with him everywhere he moves. I'm happy with Al Ain and have good bond with my teammates; even my family is attached to Al Ain as a city and a club. We've hit our targets at Al Ain and we look for new ones."

jmcauley@thenational.ae

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