French outfit ready to sell former Leeds hero ... is an Elland Road return on the cards?

St Etienne

Max Gradel is reportedly set to be sold by Saint-Etienne in January. Could he return to Leeds United?

Things are looking positive at Leeds United at the moment. They are definitely in with a shout of promotion this season, GFH Capital have secured the clubs finances and recently consolidated new investment and young starlet Alex Mowatt has signed a new deal until 2017. After some tough times it is looking like things are finally on the up for the club.

Manager Brian McDermott believes this is the end of Leeds’ recent selling days when it comes to their top players:

“Over the years Leeds United have sold so many players - and I know all about that because it happened to me at Reading. It’s happened to Leeds over a long period of time and I know the supporters are nervous about it. But with the people we’ve got in charge now I don’t think that’ll be the case anymore, I really don’t.”

So if keeping players is the start, when do they start bringing them in?

One player who would be a popular arrival would surely be Max Gradel.

But he has moved on. An Ivory Coast international, playing in Ligue 1 with Saint-Etienne - the 26-year-old flying winger’s days at Elland Road are in the past.

Or are they?

His French club have reportedly put him up for sale this week as they look to bring in Guillaume Hoarau from his Chinese nightmare with Dalian Aerbin in January - so they must now consider ways of cutting the wage bill before doing so.

Gradel has recently recovered from an injury which kept him out of action for a number of months and has only played a handful of games for the club this season.

With a World Cup coming up and Gradel dreaming of being in attendance with The Elephants he needs first-team football - so why not return to the club where he had two great seasons?

Obviously cost would be an issue. Investment is due but whether it would be enough to actually sign the player is another question entirely. But a loan deal which saw Leeds take on a share of his wages for the season might just be perfect.

image: © manuel | MC

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