Black Cats boss furious at summer saga that "started with Real Madrid and ended with the United Arab Emirates" as club record signing cuts short his time in the north-eastSunderland manager Steve Bruce aimed a parting shot at Asamoah Gyan following the Ghanaian international’s shock loan move to the United Arab Emirates and admitted that he “can’t see” the player returning to Wearside.
Bruce went on the offensive following Sunderland’s 2-1 home defeat against title-chasing Chelsea that was preceded by the Stadium of Light club’s surprise announcement that Gyan had left the club after a loan deal was arranged with Al-Ain.
Bruce indirectly suggested that Gyan’s decision to quit the Premier League for the United Arab Emirates had been motivated by money and mocked the player – the club-record £13 million signing from Rennes last year - over speculation that Real Madrid were once on his trail.
Bruce told reporters: “I had a conversation with Gyan 48 hours ago, with his agent. He shook me by the hand and it was a case of 'get on with it', he said he wanted to stay here, play here because the nonsense had gone on too long.
“I will let everyone else make up their conclusions over why he has left the Premier League to go to the United Arab Emirates. What are you going to the United Arab Emirates for? No disrespect to the country of course.
“Sometimes things disappoint you in football which are quite unbelievable. If we are being brutally honest he has been unhappy and unsettled for weeks and months. But to start with it was Real Madrid and it has ended up with the United Arab Emirates. It is disappointing.”
Gyan has three years left on his Sunderland contract but it seems implausible that he will ply his trade in the north-east of England again.
“He can come back but I can’t see it,” Bruce said. “All I will say is that we got the best possible deal for Sunderland Football Club.
“The one thing I would say is that I have never ever kept a person at a football club who didn’t want to be there and that belief will always be there, whether I manage Sunderland or any other club.
“If you don’t want to play for the team, the club or the jersey what is the point? We decided to cut our cloth and get the best deal possible and move on. We will not panic. All we can do is batten down the hatches and get on with it.”
Bruce refused to blame Gyan for the defeat by Chelsea who recorded their seventh successive win on Wearside while Sunderland seek their first win of the season.
“I don’t want to make that an excuse. That is not form. I don’t think the players knew and I didn’t know until 9.15 this morning,” Bruce said.
“It was very difficult against a very good Chelsea team that enjoyed terrific possession of the ball and we spent so much energy trying to win it back, the one thing that disappointed me is that when we had it we gave it away too cheaply and that made for a really difficult afternoon.”