Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has smashed the club’s transfer record in a £13million swoop for World Cup star Asamoah Gyan.
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Bruce finally got his hands on the Ghana international striker with just 20 minutes of the summer transfer window to spare when the 24-year-old completed his move from French Ligue 1 side Rennes.
The fee is in excess of £13million and significantly higher than the initial £10million the club paid Tottenham for Darren Bent last summer.
Bruce will hope for a similar return from Gyan, who has signed a four-year contract at the Stadium of Light.
He said: "As anyone who has watched Ghana recently or who watched the World Cup will tell you, Asamoah is a real livewire.
"He had a fantastic tournament in the summer and a lot of European clubs sat up and took notice.
"I have been very keen to bring in another striker to add to the quality we have, but only when we felt the deal was right.
"We feel this is a great deal for the football club and Asamoah really wants to be here and in the Barclays Premier League, so I’m delighted he has joined us."
Gyan is a player in whom the manager has maintained an interest all summer, and that began long before his three goals in South Africa helped Ghana make a major impact at the World Cup finals.
It was his last-gasp penalty miss which allowed Uruguay to make the semi-finals, but he made a big impression on the world stage.
Today’s news will come as a welcome boost for Bruce, who was determined to recruit a replacement for Kenwyne Jones following his departure from Wearside in an £8million switch to Stoke earlier this month.
Owner Ellis Short has refused to spend for spending’s sake during the most recent transfer window, and chairman Niall Quinn hinted last week that the purse strings might remain tightly closed.
However, Bruce’s case was helped by the knee injury youngster Fraizer Campbell sustained during Sunday’s 1-0 Barclays Premier League victory over Manchester City, which will sideline him for at least six months, and substantive talks took place that night.
Accra-born Gyan is an international team-mate of loan signing John Mensah, who has seen at close hand just how dangerous he can be.
The striker has scored 22 goals in 44 international appearances, a record which marks him out as a genuine threat.
He began his career in his native country with Liberty Professionals before for heading for Italy and Udinese, from where he was loaned to Modena at one point.
Gyan scored the quickest goal at the 2006 World Cup finals in Germany, where he struck after just 68 seconds against the Czech Republic.
He headed for Rennes in an 8million Euros move in July 2008, making 47 appearances and scoring 14 times.
He could make his debut after the international break in the Black Cats’ league trip to Wigan on September 11.