Al Ahli boss Cosmin Olaroiu has revealed Al Ain striker Asamoah Gyan consulted him over his record-breaking transfer to Chinese Super League club Shanghai SIPG.
Gyan last week left the Arabian Gulf League champions for a mammoth €20 million (Dh81.3m) fee – a UAE record.
The Ghana forward confirmed on his official website that he had signed a lucrative two-year deal.
Reports suggest the 29-year-old will be paid $350,000 (Dh1.29m) a week – making him one of the highest earning footballers in the world.
The move follows a goal-laden spell with the Boss and Olaroiu, who managed Al Ain when they signed Gyan in 2012, has backed him to continue his goalscoring exploits in the Far East.
The Romanian said: “I cannot judge the decision of Al Ain (to sell Gyan). It’s not my business, but I hope for him as a person and as a friend that he will succeed.
“Actually I talked with him few days before. He’s a good person and player and I hope he will succeed there. With the potential he has I trust and know he will succeed.”
Olaroiu later joked: “He regretted he won’t play with me. In the future maybe he will play for Ahli if he doesn’t do very well in China.”
– From Milner to Ings: Liverpool’s sensible transfer approach
– Who is Darmian: The Torino full-back set to join MUFC?
– Asia Angle: Udinese chance of a lifetime for ‘Iraqi Gareth Bale’
Gyan’s move is one of several high-profile signings for Chinese clubs this summer prompting concerns that their spending power could lead to problems luring players to the Middle East. But Olaroiu isn’t worried just yet.
“I don’t think (it’s a problem),” he said. “But we will see how we (UAE clubs) will invest in the future with big names. They (Chinese clubs) have big pop, they can choose a lot of players.”
While the Chinese clubs have been flexing their financial muscle, Al Ahli’s AGL rivals have also been busy in the market.
Olaroiu says the Red Knights will take their time over their business but does envisage a more competitive title race next term.
“The league is improving – signing international players is now easier than it was before,” he added. “In my opinion this will be the most competitive season.”