Kwadwo Asamoah opts out of 2017 Africa Cup of Nations
Juventus midfielder Kwadwo Asamoah has delivered a big blow to Ghana's title ambitions at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations as he has opted not to play at the tournament in Gabon.
Asamoah, who is the Black Stars player with the biggest team in Europe at the moment, is reported to have told coach Avram Grant not to consider him for the tournament which starts next month.
A report on a radio station in Kumasi, where Asamoah hails from, says Grant was considering the Italian Serie A maestro for inclusion in his final 23-man squad.
However, the Juventus playmaker has asked the former Chelsea coach as he concentrates on fully recovering from a career-threatening knee injury.
The injury has prevented him from reaching his full potential and there are fears that his departure to play for Ghana at the Africa Cup of Nations could lead to a relapse in the injury.
There are also fears that he could lose his position in the Juventus team as in his absence players could be signed to replace him.
Ghana are seeking to win the Africa Cup of Nations having reached the final two years ago in Equatorial Guinea even though Asamoah did not play in that tournament.
But recent bad results have led to the suggestions that the presence of the country's top players could help the Black Stars win the title.
Ghana have been drawn in a tough group where they face Egypt, Uganda and Mali.
Coach Avram Grant is yet to name his provisional squad for the competition.