AL AIN, United Arab Emirates (AP) – After leaving Sunderland for the United Arab Emirates and taking a surprise break from his national side, Ghana striker Asamoah Gyan appears ready to make another bold move.
Gyan said on Tuesday he has been approached by ''a lot of clubs'' and that he may return to topflight football next season, despite being ''very happy'' with his Al Ain club.
''I need to just take my time,'' he said of a decision to leave Al Ain when the loan agreement ends on June 30.
''I don't make decisions on my own. I have to go back to my family and my agent and I will see where my future lies. I need to take the right decision. So far, I'm 100 percent happy here. I don't know if I might stay in Al Ain.''
Gyan's move away from Sunderland caught the club by surprise and left the impression the 26-year-old forward was choosing a quick payday over a bright future in the English Premier League.
But rather than foundering in obscurity, Gyan has thrived in this desert outpost about a 90-mintue drive from Dubai. He is the UAE Pro League's leading scorer with 19 goals this season and has been one of the main reasons the club - which almost was relegated last season - won its 10th title.
''Before I came to Al Ain, everything was a bit strange. People were talking about why I came to Al Ain,'' said Gyan, wearing a black T-shirt and sunglasses. ''Everything has been positive. Everything is going well. As everybody knows, we won the league. I think everybody has done an incredible job. We have achieved our aim this season. Everything has been perfect this season.''
Club chief executive Carlo Nohra said it wants to sign Gyan on a permanent basis and that it was just a matter of negotiating terms with Sunderland. Nohra has said he was ''confident a deal would be done to keep Gyan here.''
Along with his move to Al Ain, Gyan's decision in February to take an indefinite break from the national side has left his fans befuddled. The decision came after he was widely blamed for Ghana's surprise semifinal loss to Zambia in the African Cup of Nations.
Like he did in the 2010 World Cup quarterfinals against Uruguay, Gyan missed a penalty in the match. He said the criticism was deserved, but he also defended his decision to take some time off.
''When everything goes wrong, you'll be criticized. I do accept the criticism because I've created that for myself,'' he said. ''I sent a letter to the federation that I needed a break because of psychological reasons. Personally, I felt down because of the penalty miss in the World Cup and in the African Cup. It has affected me.''
But Gyan said he plans to meet Ghana coach Kwesi Appiah this week in Dubai to discuss his future. He said he would return at some point but refused to say when.
''I have to just psych myself up and go back strong to the team again,'' he said. ''It will be very soon. I never quit the national team. The national team made me more famous than any club side. I became famous when I played in the World Cup. I can't just ignore the national team. They made me who I am today.''
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