Gyan: Al Ain move not about the money

    Gyan's explains surprising transfer
    Gyan's explains surprising transfer

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    Story highlights

    • Ghanaian striker Asamoah Gyan talks to CNN's Pedro Pinto about his move to Al Ain
    • Gyan shocked the football world by leaving the EPL for the Middle East
    • He insists the move isn't about the money
    • Claims he and Sunderland coach Steve Bruce are on good terms
    On loan Al Ain striker Asamoah Gyan has dismissed claims that his recent move from Sunderland to the United Arab Emirates was motivated by money.
    Talking to CNN's Pedro Pinto, the Ghanaian also claimed there was no bad blood between him and Sunderland coach Steve Bruce after his last minute move to the Middle East.
    "I'm still a player of Sunderland. I didn't have any confrontation with anyone. We are still alright. I was cool with the manager," he told CNN.
    "People say I moved because of money....You need to be happy -- although I'm not saying I wasn't happy at Sunderland or I wasn't happy in the [English] Premier League.
    "I had to decide with my family and everything and they were alright with my decision so I had to just move...it helped myself and Sunderland as well."
    Gyan's move from Sunderland in the English Premier League to Al Ain, a club that hails from a city built around an oasis deep in the desert, was arguably the most controversial of the recent transfer window.
    The Ghanaian scored ten goals in his 34 appearances for Sunderland and appeared to have adjusted well to the fast-paced English game.
    But instead of building on his promising start Gyan opted to move to the Middle East instead.
    "In life you have to experience things. I think moving here I don't regret at all because Al Ain is a great club and I'm ready to give everything," he explained.
    "It's another step in my life. Although I'm still a player of Sunderland. I came on loan so I'll see how my future lies as Al Ain is an important club in Asia. I'm really, really happy to be here."
    Gyan will be joined by a host of stars in this year's UAE Pro League. Maradona will be in charge of Dubai club Al Wasl, France international David Trezeguet has joined Abu Dhabi club Bani Yas whilst former Inter Milan midfielder Luis Jimenez will be playing at Al Ahli.
    Last year's champions, Al Jazira of Abu Dhabi, are bankrolled by Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed al Nahyan
    Whilst there are fabulous riches to be found in the UAE Pro League, it isn't without its controversies. Attendances have been dire since the league went professional in 2008. The situation got so bad that the UAE FA disbanded the league and took it under their control last June.
    Yet for Gyan the draw of Asian Champions League football was enough to convince him that the standard this season will be high.
    "The English Premiership is one of the best in the world. I do respect that. I enjoyed myself really last season," he said.
    "Moving to the Asian league is another step in my life. Who knows maybe I can bring some exposure in the Asian league. I've got more fans in Africa and more fans in Europe also.
    "I think the Asian league is also improving. Not just the big players going to the Asian league. It's got a lot of great players...and they are enjoying their football here."