Report: Max Gradel desperate for return to English football, Bournemouth lead race

Flag Of Ivory Coast

Bournemouth are reportedly pushing to sign former Leeds star Max Gradel.

According to the Daily Mirror, Bournemouth are ramping up their interest in signing former Leeds winger Max Gradel - who is desperate to return to England.

The Cherries won promotion to the Premier League by clinching the Champonship title, and have already added to their squad with Adam Federici, Tyrone Mings, Joshua King and Christian Atsu, but manager Eddie Howe is now targeting more arrivals.

The Mirror believe that Howe is now ready to ramp up his interest in signing Saint-Etienne winger Gradel, who is best known for his spell with Leeds United.

The Ivorian international, 27, hit 25 goals in 85 games for Leeds before moving on to Saint-Etienne in 2011, where he racked up 17 goals last season.

Now, The Mirror report that Gradel is 'desperate' to make a move back to English football, but Saint-Etienne are holding out for a £7m fee - with Bournemouth only willing to pay around £5m, which means Gradel could be in line for an interesting summer.

Pace, pace and more pace

Bournemouth have already added speedsters Atsu and King to their ranks, and also have last season's top scorer Callum Wilson in the ranks, giving Howe blistering pace in the final third.

That doesn't appear to be enough for the Bournemouth manager, who is now targeting even more speed out wide in the form of Gradel.

As Bournemouth prepare for their maiden Premier League voyage, opposing teams will have to factor in just how fast the Cherries will be on the counter-attack - even if they don't manage to land Gradel. It's an interesting ploy from Howe, but one which just might work next season.

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch