Al Ain agree permanent deal with Sunderland for Asamoah Gyan
Al Ain have finally agreed a deal with Sunderland to sign Asamoah Gyan on a permanent basis following his successful loan in the UAE Pro League.
Gyan, 26, helped fire the Garden City club to an unprecedented 10th league crown last season, netting 22 goals in just 18 games, after joining in a record €6million (Dh28m) loan deal last summer.
Al Ain have made no secret of their desire to hold onto the Ghana striker beyond the expiration of his short-term deal at the end of this month.
And after the club's CEO Carlo Nohra last week revealed a deal to keep the Ghanaian Tahnoun Mohammed Stadium was “95 per cent”, the transfer has moved a step closer with a source at the club telling Sport360° an agreement has now been reached between the two clubs.
The deal, which will see Al Ain stump up an additional €3.5million, is expected to be completed "in the next few days" when Gyan is due to return to the UAE after a summer vacation in his native Ghana.
With Al Ain due to begin pre-season on July 7, the club are keen to have Gyan's future tied up by then with the source insisting talks with the player over personal terms are "half-way there".
"I believe the contract between Al Ain and Sunderland has been finalised. It is just a matter of agreeing personal terms now with the player," said the club insider.
"We haven't actually sat down with Asamoah yet as he is in Ghana at the momey. We know exactly what he wants, but we are still negotiating personal terms.
"He is expected back here in the next few days as we start pre-season on July 7. We are half way there with him. There are still a couple of little things with him. Nothing major. We're not too far away at all and hopefully it will be done soon."
Gyan had previously hinted back in February that he was open to offers from elsewhere amid reports of interest from clubs in Qatar and Russia.
However, the club are confident Gyan will still be an Al Ain player next season, bouyed by a recent interview in which he pledged his future to the club by insisting he and his family are happy in the UAE.
"We are very confident Asamoah will stay," added the club source. "We have heard of interest from Galatasaray but we've agreed everything with Sunderland, the player is very keen to come here.
"He had a successful season last year, was obviously the top goal scorer in the league and probably our most valuable player. So we'll just sit down when he gets back and tie up the deal."
Having rubbished reports Gyan was to put pen-to-paper on a five-year deal with the UAE giants worth a mind boggling €250,ooo-a-week, the source did admit that Al Ain's offer is "more lucrative than his Sunderland contract".
"Talk of a deal worth €60million is just absurd. It's a crazy amount of money. Teams in the UAE are also going through a financial crisis. It's not what everyone thinks. It's not China, it's not Russia. So those figures mentioned are just ridiculous."
Meanwhile, the source also revealed that a deal to sign Gyan's striker partner last season, Yasser Al Qahtani, was "100 per cent dead" with the Saudi star returning to Al Hilal after the end of his loan agreement.
The 29-year-old netted 12 goals in all competitions for Al Ain last season, but Hilal have blocked a permanent move as they want him to spearhead their AFC Champions League bid after reaching the quarter-final stage.