Hearts of Oak’s hopes of luring Ghana international Sulley Muntari for a future with the club have been dealt a blow as the midfielder has professed his love for archrivals Asante Kotoko.
The former Inter and AC Milan man has been unattached since ending a six-month stint with Spanish second division outfit Albacete last year.
He has been heavily linked with Hearts in recent times, having had training spells with the club, and has as well been reported to be considering a move to a club in South Africa.
“I love Kotoko. They tried signing me when l was a young player in Kumasi," Muntari said in an Instagram Live chat with his fans.
“I would love to retire with them, but l would not rule out Hearts, RTU [Real Tamale United], King Faisal or Liberty Professionals.”
Muntari was on the books of Ghana Premier League side Liberty Professionals before first travelling abroad to join Udinese in 2002.
His time away has been very productive as he has won the Champions League, Fifa Club World Cup, two Italian Serie A titles, two Coppa Italia trophies and two Italian Super Cup golds during a four-year stay with Inter between 2008 and 2012.
Earlier, he helped Portsmouth win the English FA Cup in 2008.
In a 2012-13 Ghana Premier League run-in where Kotoko went head-to-head with Berekum Chelsea ahead of the final matchweek, Muntari backed Kotoko to win the title, saying, “All I know is Kotoko is going to win the league this weekend, they have been doing well this season and I think with the consistency and their strong mentality, they are going to win.
"I don't know why the PLB [Professional League Board] won't give the cup to Kotoko if they win because they have a greater goal difference. I think it is something they have to take a second look at. But I trust in the boys to deliver and Kotoko will be winners after the final matches.”
Muntari, who represented Ghana at the 2006, 2010 and 2014 Fifa World Cup tournaments, has also played for English side Sunderland, Italian fold Pescara, Spanish outfit Deportivo La Coruna and Saudi club Al-Ittihad.
With 23 titles, Kotoko are the most successful club in the history of the GPL, having four more wins than second-placed Hearts.