Gyan bids farewell to Al Ain as Shanghai move confirmed

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End of the road: Asamoah Gyan.

Superstar striker Asamoah Gyan bid an emotional farewell to Al Ain as his big-money move to Chinese Super League-challengers Shanghai SIPG was confirmed.

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Gyan, 29, was granted the transfer to Sven-Goran Erikkson’s side after they submitted a “double the money” 20 million (Dh81.3m) bid to secure the club legend’s services. 

The enormous offer – a record UAE transaction – proved too good to turn down for the Arabian Gulf League champions, who reluctantly decided to cash in earlier this week on a player who signed a bumper new deal until 2018 last summer.

The finishing touches on the Boss’ side of the deal were undertaken last night, the Ghana skipper being pictured on their Twitter account meeting with board members and staff at Khalifa International Stadium. He was also presented with a trophy to thank him for his four years of stellar service.

“I am lost for words,” he said. “This club will always have a special place in my heart no matter what happens in future.”

After signing the required documentation, the ex-Rennes centre forward was given permission to travel immediately east for medical checks and to sign his monster SIPG contract.

Official confirmation from the second-placed CSL club had yet to arrive, with coach Eriksson refusing to speak about it in his pre-match press briefing ahead of 
today’s Chinese FA Cup fourth-round match with Guangzhou R&F. 

Al Ain have moved on quickly from the sale, board member Mohammed bin Bdoua revealing Vasco Da Gama midfielder Felipe Bastos has landed to join already-signed Netherlands winger Ryan Babel. This move leaves one space in the four-player foreign quota for Gyan’s replacement.

He said: “With a bit more luck, Brazilian midfielder Felipe Bastos has arrived and we wish him success with the team.”

They are now in line to make a healthy profit on Gyan, a £6m (Dh34.4m) loan fee being paid to Premier League outfit Sunderland in September 2011 with another £4m (Dh22.9m) following in July 2012 to make it permanent.

During his triumphant spell, the club won three AGL trophies, the 2013/14 President’s Cup and 2012 Arabian Gulf Super Cup. He was top scorer in the 2014 AFC Champions League as he fired Zlatko Dalic’s men to the semi-finals for the first time in nine years.

But signs of age catching up with Gyan emerged last term. A lingering quadriceps problem restricted him to just 12 league starts, the Boss still being able to go on in his regular absences to win the title by nine points.

He now continues the summer flood of elite talent to the big-spending Chinese top flight. Senegal striker Demba Ba – who was an Al Ahli target – has joined Shanghai Shenhua for a large undisclosed fee and Brazil international Paulinho has moved to Guangzhou Evergrande from Tottenham Hotspur for 14m (Dh56.6m).

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Al Ain to cash in on enormous Shanghai SIPG bid for Gyan

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Outward bound: Gyan.

Al Ain have cashed in on superstar striker Asamoah Gyan after they reluctantly accepted a lucrative “double the money” bid from Chinese Super League title-chasers Shanghai SIPG.

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Gyan, 29, was the subject of an offer worth approximately €20 million (Dh81.3m) last week from Sven-Goran Eriksson’s ambitious side. They believe the Ghana skipper will prove the difference in the months ahead as they attempt to move up from second and claim their debut top-flight crown.

The Boss are set to reap a significant profit on the investment made bringing him to the Garden City, a £6m (Dh34.4m) loan fee being paid to Premier League outfit Sunderland in September 2011 with another £4m (Dh22.9m) following in July 2012 to make it permanent.

Gyan has been given permission to travel east in the coming days from his vacation in Ghana to complete the formalities on the biggest deal in UAE history.

“Something is happening,” a senior Al Ain official told Sport 360 on Monday night. “Very soon, everything will become clear about the situation.

“When you’ve received double the money you’ve paid for Gyan, you have to let him go.”

Gyan signed a contract extension until 2018 only last summer, but with his advancing age and an injury-plagued 2014/15 season taken into consideration a pragmatic decision has been reached by the Arabian Gulf League champions’ board.

Gyan has proven a phenomenal success with the Boss. He has helped fire them to three league titles, the 2014 President’s Cup and the 2012 Arabian Gulf Super Cup.

He will depart the UAE with three top-scorer awards and a phenomenal 95 goals in 83 AGL appearances. He was also the leading marksman in the 2014 AFC Champions League with 12, as Al Ain made the semi-finals for the first time in nine years.

But last term was his least productive in a purple shirt, a lingering quadriceps problem continually flaring up. He started just 12 top-flight games, scoring 13 times. 

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Jazira sign Park Jong-Woo from Guangzhou R&F

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New arrival: Park Jong-Woo.

Returning coach Abel Braga’s remodelling of Al Jazira has continued after South Korea defensive midfielder Park Jong-woo was brought in to fill the club’s Asian-player slot.

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Park, 26, completed medical tests prior to a three-year deal being announced yesterday to move from mid-table Chinese Super League team Guangzhou R&F.

The 13-times-capped Taegeuk Warrior replaces Brazilian-Palestinian Jucilei, who was sold to fellow CSL side Shandong Luneng last week after one-and-a-half underwhelming seasons at Mohammed bin Zayed Stadium.

“The player will be unveiled to the media at a news conference at a later date,” a Jazira statement said.

Park joined the Blue Lions in February 2014 from Busan IPark, going on to score once in 34 league appearances. He was a member of the South Korea squad which won bronze at the 2012 London Olympics, but has featured sporadically since being an ununsed member of the 2014 FIFA World Cup selection.

Jazira will hope he has a similar impact to compatriots and fellow anchormen Lee Myung-joo and Kwon-Kyung-won, who excelled for Al Ain and Al Ahli last season.

The Yonsei University starlet joins Brazil playmaker Thiago Neves from Al Hilal and centre-back Fares Juma from the Boss as Braga makes his mark on the club he is back at following a previous golden spell between 2008 and 2011. Al Wahda full-back Mubarak Al Mansoor is also expected to join up in the coming days.

Park will be tasked with providing a firmer screen in front of the Pride of Abu Dhabi’s suspect rear- guard. Last season’s second-placed Arabian Gulf League finishers conceded 46 times, the third-highest amount.

This undermined Belgian boss Eric Gerets and led to the decision to reinstall Braga, who signed off four years ago with the top-flight and President’s Cup double.

The capital outfit will now intensify their push for the final non-Emirati spot in the four-man foreign quota left vacant after a deal for Roma’s Ivory Coast winger Gervinho fell through.

Mirko Vucinic is the only foreigner retained from last term’s list, the Montenegro striker enjoying an incredible debut campaign featur- ing a leading 25 AGL goals.

Meanwhile, giant striker Michiel Kramer arrived in Abu Dhabi on Monday to put the final touches to a move from Dutch side ADO Den Haag to Bani Yas.

Kramer, 26, had a medical to pass before a three-year deal could be confirmed for a reported €1.5 million (Dh6.1m). The NAC Breda youth product was targeted by the Sky Blues after a stellar 2014/15 Eredivise campaign which saw him become the joint third-highest scorer with 17 goals.

Australia midfielder Mark Milligan has already been impressively signed up by Luis Garcia’s men as they target an improvement on last term’s eighth-placed finish.

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