Asamoah Gyan pledges future to Al Ain

Jon Turner 25/07/2014
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Here to stay: Gyan has been a mega hit since moving to Al Ain in 2011.

Al Ain's star striker Asamoah Gyan has pledged his future to the Garden City club after signing a contract extension until 2018, it was announced on Thursday. 

Gyan, who joined Al Ain permanently in 2012 after spending a season on loan at the Arabian Gulf League side, has been a massive success in the UAE – scoring a total of 82 league goals in just 66 games. The 28-year-old played a crucial role in helping Al Ain to back-to-back league titles in 2012 and 2013.

There was speculation that Gyan could leave The Boss this summer following Ghana's World Cup campaign, during which he became the highest scoring African player in World Cup history.

– Ghanaian lawyer calls for arrest of Al Ain's Gyan over Jet Ski accident

However, much to the delight of Al Ain fans, Gyan will remain at the club for a further four seasons after penning an extension to his existing deal.

“I am very happy to extend my contract here until 2018 and I thank the club’s board, management and all the fans for their support,” he told Asamoahgyan3.com.

“I have been happy here since I arrived in 2011 and I hope to help the side to keep winning.”

Gyan has joined up with his Al Ain teammates to prepare for the AFC Champions League quarter-final tie against Al Ittihad, with the first leg scheduled at the Hazza Bin Zayed Stadium on August 19.

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Kalba sign ex-Real & Barca forward

Barnaby Read 24/07/2014
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Star signing: Tha'er Bawab (second left) joins Kalba on a free trasfer.

Arabian Gulf League side Al Ittihad Kalba has announced the signing of former Real Madrid and Barcelona forward, Tha'er Bawab.

Bawab, 29, joins Kalba on a free transfer following his release from Romanian side Gaz Metan Mediaș, where he scored 24 goals in 83 matches during his two year stay.

Having started his career at Real Madrid, the Jordanian went on to play for their 'C' side before moving to Barcelona in 2007 where he played in their 'B' team for a single season.

Moves to Spanish sides Hospitalet, Alfaro and Moratalla preceeded Bawab's spell in Romania where he featured for Gloria Bistrița and ultimately Metan where he found regular first team football for the longest period of his career so far.

Bawab has represented Jordan 20 times, netting five international goals in the process.

The arrival of Bawab marks the newly promoted side's first foray into the transfer market since hiring Brazilian coach Vinicius Eutropio last month.

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Bani Yas secure South Korea star’s signature

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Turning Sky Blue: Kim Jung-woo in action for South Korea.

Bani Yas’ much-delayed summer recruitment drive will begin with the imminent arrival of South Korea midfielder Kim Jung-woo from Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors.

Kim, 32, is expected to agree a one-year deal with an option for an additional year once the formalities are completed before the weekend.

The 68-time capped international excelled while on loan at rivals Sharjah last season, his stellar performances being rewarded with a spot in the Arabian Gulf League Team of the Year.

Bani Yas have endured a fruitless summer so far, failing with attempts to land Al Wahda defender Hamdan Al Kamali and fill the three remaining spots available to them for foreign players.

But Sky Blues first team manager Mohammed Aida Al Minihali revealed the club have been happy to wait for the confirmation of new coach Luis Garcia and sporting director Jesus Garcia Pitarch in the last fortnight before igniting their transfer market activities.

“Kim is a player we have liked for a long time,” he said. “It is hard to bring in Asian players with great experience, but we have managed to do that with him. There has been a delay to our activites when compared to our rivals. But we did not want to buy just anybody, and were happy to wait until Luis Garcia and Jesus Garcia Pitarch arrived.”

Kim – who scored one goal in 27 appearances in all competitions for Sharjah last term – will occupy the Asian player slot, replacing Omani defender Abdulsalam Al Mukhaini.

There had been reported issues with Bani Yas’ only current foreign player, with Chile international Carlos Munoz yet to arrive from South America for pre-season.

Al Minihali insisted the delay had been approved as the striker is suffering from a back injury, with Bani Yas not wanting him to board a plane and risk aggravating the problem in time to report for duty on July 15.

The parties remain in communication, with Munoz expected back well before the squad travels for a pre-season training camp in Germany on August 10.

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