Just as clever, knowing Sunderland supporters were saying it couldn’t possibly be true, no less reliable source than the official SAFC site confirmed this startling rumour as being fact:
Sunderland striker Asamoah Gyan is set to join United Arab Emirates side Al-Ain on loan.
This is what safc.com went on to say about the departure, in circumstances that stretch belief, of a man for whom we paid £13m at the start of last season:
“Officials from Al-Ain made contact with Sunderland earlier in the week with a view to signing the player on a permanent deal. After further discussions overnight however, it was agreed that the striker would join the club on a season-long loan.
Sunderland AFC would like to thank the officials from Al-Ain for the professional manner in which they entered into negotiations and the club wishes all parties well.
Manager Steve Bruce said: ‘Anyone who has seen Asamoah play will know that he hasn’t been himself in recent months. This option suits all parties at the present time and the club is well-protected in the deal. Asamoah has three years remaining on his contract and of course my wish would be that he finds his spark again and we see him in red and white stripes next season in the form that first attracted us to him.’ “
Gary Bennett said during the Swansea match commentary that Gyan’s not-at-the-races display might be linked to thoughts of a move elsewhere.
And Pete Sixsmith, on his way to today’s game, texts: “All kinds of problems with him. Best for him to leave now. Good player but with current form will not be missed. Big opportunity for Wickham and Ji.”
All the same, Salut! Sunderland is aghast and that is all that needs, for now, to be said – unless you think differently! Pete’s text did have a few more words to run: “… but that’s three top strikers lost by Bruce …”