Bruce reveals lengthy Gyan chase
Steve Bruce claims he had been tracking Asamoah Gyan for three and a half years before finally making the Ghanian Sunderland's record buy.
Bruce initially tried to sign the striker during his time at Birmingham and had another look at his last summer after his own move to the Stadium of Light.
He said: "I went to see him play for Ghana against Senegal at Millwall something like three and a half years ago when he was at Udinese, and he caught my eye that night.
"I tried to do something the following summer and couldn't, and then he went to Rennes and I tried 12 months ago before Darren Bent came here.
"We had a little sniff, but when Darren became available, I opted for Darren because he had already played in the Premier League.
"But we had chased him and monitored him a long, long time."
Gyan was introduced to his team-mates yesterday after heading straight off on international duty following the completion of his move on deadline day, and is likely to get his first taste of English football at the DW Stadium.
Bruce said: "Like anybody, he needs time to settle in.
"He is a larger than life sort of character, he is one of these who loves life and plays that way too.
"When you see him, he has got this energy about him and he has got this way how he lives his life too, which is going to be colourful, if I put it that way.
"But that is what we have bought. He enjoys playing, he enjoys life and I am hoping he can have a really good time here.
Gyan is desperate to make his debut after admitting it has been his dream to play in the Premier League since watching it on television as a boy - he is a Manchester United supporter - and he is hoping to follow in the footsteps of other Africans who have prospered here.
He said: "It's another step in my life. I had a great World Cup and finally Sunderland signed me for this amount of money.
"People will be expecting much, as I said, so I have to do my best to make sure I don't put people to shame, to be winning more games and maybe to be going to more competitions.
"Africa has a lot of great strikers who are playing here - Emmanuel Adebayor, Didier Drogba - and Michael Essien is also doing so well. Most of the African players are doing so well, and I hope to do the same."