Gradel would have been a big signing for Sunderland AFC – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Bournemouth defender Steve Cook and Max Gradel

Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Aug 21, 2017. 10:00

English Championship club Sunderland AFC have revealed that they were in the race to sign new Toulouse FC signing Max Gradel.

AFC Bournemouth, who are campaigning in the English Premier League (EPL), recently shipped out the Ivorian international to French Ligue 1 side Toulouse on a season-long loan deal.

Sunderland manager Simon Grayson has since disclosed that they had reached an agreement with Bournemouth regarding Gradel’s services, but the player was keen to return to France.

“We spoke to Max and he eventually decided to go back to France,” Grayson told The Northern Echo.

“We had agreed something with Bournemouth and ultimately he is a good player that I wanted to bring to the club.

“It shows you where we are as a club with the players that we are looking at,” he continued.

“That would have been a big signing for us if we had managed to do it, but he just felt his family wanted to go back to France.

“And that was a disappointment for us, but that is part and parcel of the transfer window.”

The 29-year-old winger is back in the Ligue 1 having turned out for Saint-Etienne in the French top-flight league between 2011 and 2015.

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High taxes made me leave Sunderland – Asamoah Gyan – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Asamoah Gyan of Ghana gets away from Hassan Wasswa of Uganda during the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations Finals football match between Ghana and Uganda at the Port Gentil Stadium in Gabon on 17 January 2017 ©Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

Graeme Jackson

Sunday Jun 18, 2017. 13:00

The high tax demands in England contributed to Asamoah Gyan’s departure from Sunderland, the player has revealed.

Gyan was on Sunderland’s books from 2010 to 2012 though he played only one full season with the Black Cats, leaving in 2011 to have a loan spell in the UAE with Al Ain before joining permanently the following year.

It has long been believed in African football circles that Gyan’s prime years were wasted in the relative backwater of the UAE and he should have stuck it out in England or elsewhere in Europe.

The Black Stars veteran, who recently scored his 50th goal for Ghana’s senior team, has now revealed that the heavy taxes in England were a major reason for his departure.

“[The tax demand on players in Europe] is too much. In England they take like close to 50 percent [of your salary as tax]. A player trains everyday then at the end of the month you cut his salary by 50%. I don’t think it’s good,” Gyan said in an interview with Joy FM.

“Let me reveal this secret; I will say that [high taxes] was one the reasons why I left Sunderland. That was one of the factors. In China they tax too, but there the clubs pay the tax and they give the player a net salary.

“But in England the team doesn’t pay, it is the player that has to pay the tax. So it you are earning $100,000 a month, then it’s virtually $50,000. But in China if you are earning $100,000, your team pays your taxes and you take home $100,000.”

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Sunderland release Nigeria’s Anichebe – 2019 Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers

Sunderland striker Victor Anichebe

Graeme Jackson

Saturday Jun 10, 2017. 13:00

English club Sunderland AFC confirmed the release of 11 players on Friday, including Nigerian striker Victor Anichebe.

The Black Cats suffered relegation from the Premier League at the end of the 2016/17 season and have now let go of a host of players, including former South Africa captain Steven Pienaar.

Anichebe made 18 league appearances for Sunderland last season, scoring three goals for the club in their doomed attempt to avoid dropping down to the second tier of English football.

Anichebe has also represented Everton and West Bromwich Albion in his club career.

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