Al Sadd have announced on Twitter that Andre Ayew has agreed a deal to join the Qatari side on a free transfer, despite attracting interest from Newcastle United and Crystal Palace.

Ayew left Swansea City at the end of last season after the Championship side elected not to renew his contract. The Ghanaian enjoyed two spells at the Liberty Stadium from 2015, after returning to the Jacks in 2018 following a two-year stint at West Ham.

He continued to cut a key presence at Swansea right up until his exit, with Ayew netting 16 goals and four assists last season to fire Steve Cooper’s side into the play-offs. The 31-year-old added another strike against Barnsley in the semi-final, before losing to Brentford.

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Ayew was the top-earner at Swansea with a salary of £83,000-per-week. The forward will now embark on a new challenge in Qatar, with Al Sadd confirming he will undergo a medical on Friday before signing a contract with the club managed by Barcelona legend Xavi.

Newcastle and Crystal Palace were both keen on a move for Ayew after he left Swansea in June. Ghana Soccernet reported the 91-cap international sat at the top of Steve Bruce’s attacking shortlist. But they were expected to have to contend with Fenerbache for a deal.

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Crystal Palace later joined Newcastle in the hunt and held talks with Ayew in recent weeks, per 90min. The forward had fielded offers from around Europe and was keen on the move to unite with his brother, Jordan.

But Al Sadd have swooped in and beaten Newcastle and Crystal Palace to the punch with Ayew heading for Doha. The Qatar Stars League outfit expect to announce the attacker’s transfer on Friday once he has passed a medical.

Newcastle and Crystal Palace lose experience and goals with Ayew heading for Al Sadd

Newcastle and Crystal Palace have missed out on the chance to add experience and goals to their attacks with Ayew now heading for Qatari side Al Sadd on a free transfer. The former Swansea star would not have been a mega-signing for either, but had plenty to offer.

Ayew is a leader of men for club and country and helped carry Swansea to the play-off final last term. He ended the term as the Championship’s sixth-top scorer and also offers versatility. As well as playing centrally, the French-born forward can also play on the wing.

Cooper, who quit Swansea on Wednesday, also hailed his vice-captain Ayew while in charge in south Wales. He once told the Jack’s club website: “Andre has been brilliant in every way, shape or form. He can be as good as anyone in the league and he can play at a higher level.”