ACCRA, August 18 (National Team) - Ghana captain Stephen Appiah claims he has quit Turkish giants Fenerbahce after a fall-out with the club's management.
The 27-year-old midfielder has spent close to nine months on the sidelines due to a long-standing knee injury which forced him to miss the African Nations Cup in his home country earlier this year.
He has been linked with a move away from Turkey all summer and this latest twist could create plenty of interest in Appiah before the transfer window closes at the end of August.
'I am a free agent,' he told Accra radio station Happy FM at the weekend. 'A few issues happened between me and the club so I no longer play for them.'
However, the ex-Juventus and Parma ace rubbished reports of a return to another former club Brescia in Italy's Serie B, revealing instead that he was examining his options before deciding on his next move.
'Those stories about me and Brescia are not true,' he said. 'My personal trainer works with Brescia and I did a lot of work with him there during the off-season so maybe that is where the rumours are from.
'But there a few offers I am studying even though I am not in a hurry. I want to make the right choice. At the end of it all the most important thing is that wherever I end up, I will give it my absolute all.'
Appiah, who helped the Black Stars reach the second round of the 2006 World Cup in Germany, stated that he has always placed his health before football in his bid to return from injury.
He added: 'I am happy just to be alive after the injury. I was complaining of asthma after surgery last year, but it was not that. I missed an injection and blood went into my lungs. Football was not the most important thing. I nearly lost my life.
'Sometimes when things happen, you can be knocked off if you are not strong mentally. But I am strong mentally and I never give up which is why I am still going strong.
'I don't want to rush the comeback. I want everything to be gradual. I have been out for one year and I understand it will take time to get my rhythm back. Everything is going well and very soon you will see me again on the football field.'
Appiah also hailed his national team-mates for their support during his injury break, stating: 'I speak to many of the players every day. (Michael) Essien, (Laryea) Kingston, all of them have done a great deal for me. They have encouraged me a lot with their phone calls and text messages. I feel I must keep going to justify the confidence they have in me because they have been there for me.'