'Gyan future may lie away from Sunderland'
Sunderland manager Martin O’Neill admits it is unlikely Ghana striker Asamoah Gyan will return to the club after his loan spell with United Emirates side Al-Ain.
Gyan cost Sunderland a club record £13 million to sign from Rennes in 2010, but he endured a difficult time with the Premier League club and departed on a season-long loan to Al-Ain in September.
That agreement was made three months before O’Neill succeeded Steve Bruce at the Stadium of Light and there was initially talk that Gyan would return early to allow O’Neill to check out the star’s form and attitude.
But the 26-year-old’s lucrative deal with Al-Ain did not allow for that and, while any decision on Gyan’s future is yet to be finalised, O’Neill has suggested the striker may not want to return when his loan expires.
“The situation is, I believe it was a year-long loan for a start for which they had to pay us some money of the transfer fee which we paid in the first place, and that is still in existence,” O’Neill said on Friday.
“There was some talk between all parties in January that didn’t come to anything. I wasn’t party to those conversations, although I was kept informed of them, of course.
“I think it will be the end of the season before I can assess anything.
“There has to be a willingness on behalf of all parties as well; you wouldn’t really want somebody who is really unwilling to come back to the football club, if that’s the case.
“It’s unfair of me to say that because it might not be the case, but it seems to be the message that’s coming across.”