Al Ain chief executive Carlo Nohra says a decision on Asamoah Gyan’s long-term future will not be made until the end of the season.
Gyan - who retired from international duty with Ghana last week - will be in action tonight as The Boss take on Dubai in Group A of the Etisalat Cup, looking for the win that could seal their passage to the semi-finals.
The Ghanaian loan star has scored 12 goals in 13 games since signing from Sunderland in September and will be watched from the stands of the Tahnoun Bin Mohamed Stadium by representatives of the English Premier League side.
Sunderland chief executive Margaret Byrne and Academy Manager Ged McNamee are in the Garden City to discuss a potential link-up between the two clubs and not the permanent transfer of Gyan.
Nohra said: "The Gyan deal is a completely separate story, the loan agreement will expire in June and closer to the time we will make a decision on what we are going to do with it.”
Byrne and McNamee were shown round Al Ain’s facilities by Nohra yesterday as they look into the possibility of a tie-up similar to the one The Boss have with Spanish club Atletico Madrid, that has seen their coaches visit the Pro-League leaders’ youth academy recently.
"Part of the Gyan agreement was to activate certain exchanges between our teams, and other things, and it was just exploring that possibility,” Nohra said.
"It’s more at a youth level, the gentleman I was with was the director of their Academy. I was showing them the premises, things like that."
Elsewhere tonight, Diego Maradona’s Al Wasl travel to RAK to face Emirates, knowing they need a win to keep their last four hopes alive.
Wasl know that if The Boss win at home to Dubai, and they leave Emirates with anything less than three points they are out.
However, they would move into second-place behind Al Jazira with a win, should the other game end in a draw.