Leeds United, Hull City and Stoke City have had bids rejected for Saint-Etienne winger Max Gradel, according to reports in France.
The deal which took Gradel from Leeds to the Ligue 1 outfit for £3m in August 2011 still ranks as one of the most bizarre in recent memory.
Gradel, whose stock rose considerably during a permanent spell at Elland Road secured the switch to Ligue 1 but while it has hardly been a disaster, the Ivory Coast international admitted a return to these shores was something that could interest him in the future.
Leeds were credited with an interest at the beginning of 2013 as they sought to prise their former player of the year away from Les Verts, who now has just 18 months left on his reported £20,000-a-week deal.
The 26-year-old, who started out at Leicester City before plundering 25 goals in 84 appearances for Leeds, would be receptive towards moving back to a club where he was largely considered a popular figure and it appears Premier League duo Hull City and Stoke City have both launched bids too.
The report states all three opening gambits have been rejected by ASSE but there are no assurances the Ivorian will stay beyond the closure of the transfer window.
While the exact details of the respective offers have not been disclosed, the report claims all three proposals were to purchase Gradel, rather than a loan move.
Les Verts, who currently sit fourth in Ligue 1, dismissed the approaches out of hand, however, as the figures did not meet their own valuation of the in-demand wideman.
image: © Chris Robertshaw