Max Gradel responds to Mourinho's claims he could play for Chelsea

Mourinho Dugout

The former Leeds United star has arrived at Bournemouth having impressed in Ligue 1 last season.

New Bournemouth signing Max Gradel has responded to praise from Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho ahead of the Cherries' first ever Premier League match against Aston Villa this weekend, in comments appearing on Sky Sports.

Speaking at the Premier League launch in Croydon earlier this week, the Portuguese manager, fresh from winning the title last season, pointed to the likes of Gradel as examples why the league would be an even tougher competition this time round.

"I think nobody can complain because everyone is investing - you go to Watford, you go to Bournemouth, Crystal Palace, Stoke, every club," Mourinho is quoted as saying by BBC Sport.

"You have a minimum of five title contenders and the other teams get stronger and stronger. There will be more times when the non-title contenders win matches against the title contenders.

"It's also difficult because they have players who could play in our teams - Cabaye could play for Chelsea, Wijnaldum could play for Chelsea, Gradel could play for Chelsea."

Naturally, Gradel was delighted with the comments from one of the world's best managers, coming before he has even played his first Premier League match.

"Yes, I think I can play for Chelsea, of course," he is quoted as saying by Sky Sports. "It's nice to know a big manager like Mourinho said something like this.

"If he says that, that means that it's true. He won't say anything that he doesn't mean. With the squad they have, it's easier to play in the Chelsea team. It's easier to play with great players."

 

The former Leeds United star has certainly been an impressive performer over the last few seasons, starting with his final campaign at Elland Road.

Gradel netted 18 times in the 2010-11 season to earn a move to Saint-Etienne that summer, and the 27-year-old has gradually acclimatised to Ligue 1, before having a similarly impressive year in the campaign just finished, scoring 17 times in 31 matches.

If he carries that kind of form into his first ever Premier League season, it may well be the case that Mourinho comes knocking with a mega money bid for the forward.

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