Hearts of Oak seal transfer of former Ghana, AC Milan and Inter Milan star

Former AC Milan and Inter Milan midfielder Sulley Muntari has signed for reigning Ghana Premier League champions Hearts of Oak, the club has announced.

The 37-year-old is set to return to competitive football, three years after his last action.

Although not stated, the duration of the deal, per GOAL’s understanding, is for the remainder of the season.

Tuesday’s announcement brings to end weeks of transfer speculation about the 37-year-old’s future as he becomes the latest high-profile ex-Ghana international after Asamoah Gyan to make a return to the local scene.

On Sunday, Muntari was in the stands as the Phobians handed King Faisal Babes a 1-0 defeat in the GPL.

His latest move signals a return to the pitch for the first time since a short stint with Spanish lower division fold Albacete in 2019.

Muntari has been heavily linked to Hearts on multiple occasions in the past, having periodically trained with the side.

In 2018, he was reportedly said to be nearing a switch to the Accra-based side after ending a spell with Spanish club Deportivo la Coruna.

The transfer never materialized as he instead joined Albacete for another stint in Spain.

In 2020, the rumours resurfaced as he began another practice spell with the club. This time around, he was reported to have signed a two-year deal, forcing the Phobians to release a statement to debunk the news.

Hearts board member Nyaho Nyaho-Tamakloe once opened up on the club’s situation with the player.

“For the past two years, Hearts of Oak have been telling Sulley Ali Muntari that we’ve reserved a jersey for him. Anytime he’s ready to play, he knows what to do,” the former Ghana Football Association president said.

Aside from Inter Milan, AC Milan, and the two afore-mentioned Spanish clubs, Muntari has also played for Udinese and Pescara in Italy, Ittihad in Saudi Arabia, and Portsmouth in England where he won the FA Cup in 2008.

In August 2020, the speculation of a move to Hearts emerged once again.

During an Instagram Live chat with fans, the midfielder, who was on the books of Liberty Professionals before first leaving Ghana for abroad, spoke about his desire to possibly join Hearts.

He said: “I love [Asante] Kotoko. They tried signing me when l was a young player in Kumasi. I would love to retire with them, but l would not rule out Hearts, RTU [Real Tamale United], King Faisal, or Liberty Professionals.”

Muntari, who featured for Ghana at 2006, 2010, and 2014 World Cups, won the Champions League with Inter Milan in 2010.


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