Sunderland will not sell Gyan
SUNDERLAND boss Steve Bruce has categorically ruled out the option of selling record signing Asamoah Gyan this summer. Bruce is looking to complete a major overhaul of his Black Cats squad, having lost Darren Bent, Bolo Zenden and four loan players from the squad that completed last season. Up to six signings will be necessary just to maintain the status quo, but with Aston Villa's £24m fee for Bent due to be paid in four separate instalments, it remains to be seen whether owner Ellis Short will be willing to sanction a significant transfer kitty. Bruce has been monitoring the free agent market, and has made an initial approach to Seb Larsson, David Vaughan and Kieren Westwood in an attempt to pick up a bargain. He will also be looking to recruit more expensive talent, however, and as the most valuable asset on the Black Cats' books, Gyan has already been linked with a possible move away from Wearside in order to generate funds. Bruce is aware of the growing speculation, but having watched Gyan finish last season as Sunderland's leading goalscorer, he is not about to sell the only fit and available striker currently on his club's books. I have seen bits of speculation (about Gyan), but that does not worry me at all, said Bruce, who has been linked with a possible move for South Korean striker Ji Dong-Won, who spent a year with Reading's youth academy in 2007-08. I have had no inquiries for Gyan. He will be better in the second year because he will be used to it more. What we need is competition for him. That is where we will try to start. In truth, Sunderland need increased competition in a number of areas including the defence, where they have lost former loanees John Mensah and Nedum Onuoha. Sulley Muntari and Danny Welbeck have also returned to Inter Milan and Manchester United respectively, and not for the first time, Bruce accepts there is a need for a major summer rebuild. When I first came in, I signed Bent, (Fraizer) Campbell, (Lorik) Cana, (Lee) Cattermole, (Titus) Bramble and (Michael) Turner and brought Mensah on loan, he said. We need another influx like we had then. I don't think people realise we had five loan players (last season). That was because, in the previous seasons, the owner had spent a lot of money. There is nothing wrong with a loan player, and Onuoha, Welbeck and Elmo (Ahmed Elmohamady) all played huge parts in the season and did very well. We could look at that again. There's nothing wrong with that route, but we had five out of 24 and that just shows you how light we were.
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