Sunderland boss Steve Bruce has revealed he had been tracking record signing Asamoah Gyan for three and a half years before he finally managed to sign him.
The 24-year-old Ghana international could make his debut for the club in the Barclays Premier League trip to Wigan on Saturday, and that will bring an end to a lengthy mission for the man who invested more than £13million in his services.
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."
Bruce continued: "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 on Thursday 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.
"Will he get a game? That's one way of putting it. Well, he is in contention. I have paid a hell of a lot of money for him, so I would expect him to play some part in the game."
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