Leeds United face Premier League competition for Max Gradel

Leeds United Crest

Sky Sports have reported that Hull City are hoping to pip their Yorkshire rivals Leeds United to the signature of Saint Etienne winger Max Gradel.

Leeds United have reportedly been pushing for a deal to bring former fan favourite Max Gradel back to Elland Road. However, earlier today the West Yorkshire side were dealt a significant blow to their chances when it was announced East Yorkshire side Hull City were also keen on the winger.

It still remains unclear where the Ivorian's future lies and last week the Saint Etienne management reiterated that he was still part of their plans. Although they did also confirm if a good offer came in for the player, they would sit down with Gradel and consider it. And now with fresh interest from Hull City, they have a potential bidding war on their hands.

Gradel has publicly stated that he thoroughly enjoyed his time at Leeds United, and the romance of a prodigal son return may be the best United can offer. Hull would be considered heavy favourites for Gradel's signature, due to the Premier League football they can offer and, of course, the wages which Leeds seemingly could not match.

The 26-year-old midfielder has scored 11 goals in 38 starts for Saint Etienne and it would be incredibly harsh on the player to say his time in France has been a flop. But with chances of first-team football looking few and far between, I would not be surprised to see the player force a move ahead of this summer's World Cup.

image: © Paul Dantanus

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