Gradel would have been a big signing for Sunderland AFC – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

Bournemouth defender Steve Cook and Max Gradel

Austin Ditlhobolo

Monday Aug 21, 2017. 10:00

English Championship club Sunderland AFC have revealed that they were in the race to sign new Toulouse FC signing Max Gradel.

AFC Bournemouth, who are campaigning in the English Premier League (EPL), recently shipped out the Ivorian international to French Ligue 1 side Toulouse on a season-long loan deal.

Sunderland manager Simon Grayson has since disclosed that they had reached an agreement with Bournemouth regarding Gradel’s services, but the player was keen to return to France.

“We spoke to Max and he eventually decided to go back to France,” Grayson told The Northern Echo.

“We had agreed something with Bournemouth and ultimately he is a good player that I wanted to bring to the club.

“It shows you where we are as a club with the players that we are looking at,” he continued.

“That would have been a big signing for us if we had managed to do it, but he just felt his family wanted to go back to France.

“And that was a disappointment for us, but that is part and parcel of the transfer window.”

The 29-year-old winger is back in the Ligue 1 having turned out for Saint-Etienne in the French top-flight league between 2011 and 2015.

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Max Gradel joins Toulouse on loan – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

AFC Bournemouth winger Max Gradel

Graeme Jackson

Thursday Aug 17, 2017. 15:00

Bournemouth’s Ivorian attacker Max Gradel has joined French Ligue 1 side Toulouse on a season-long loan deal.

Sky Sports reports that the Cherries have relented in allowing the Elephants player to leave for the 2017/18 campaign, having already rejected a bid from Toulouse to sign the player permanently.

Gradel has already departed for France and will link up with his new teammates ahead of their clash against Ligue 1 heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain this weekend.

The 29-year-old has struggled to gain regular playing time at Bournemouth since his arrival from St Etienne in 2015.

Gradel suffered cruciate ligament damage early in his Cherries career and has also spent a chunk of last season away from the club representing his country at the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations.

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Cherries reject bid for Max Gradel – 2018 FIFA World Cup Qualifiers – Africa

AFC Bournemouth winger Max Gradel

Bertin Basson

Thursday Jul 20, 2017. 11:00

English Premier League side Bournemouth have rejected a bid for Ivory Coast international Max Gradel, with the club keen to keep hold of the winger.

French Ligue 1 outfit Toulouse have said to make advances for the former Saint-Étienne man – according to Sky Sports News.

Gradel, though, will reportedly form a integral part of Eddie Howe’s plans for the upcoming season despite struggling for game time since his move to the club two years ago.

The former Leeds United wide man missed most of his first season at the club following a cruciate ligament injury just four games into his arrival.

The 29-year-old, who is in his second spell at the club, is happy to remain at the Vitality with recently relegated Sunderland also having voiced their interest in the attacker.

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