Sunderland have been pursuing Bournemouth winger Max Gradel.

Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe has told BBC Sport that winger Max Gradel could still leave the club this summer if there isn’t a clear role for him at the Vitality Stadium.

The Cherries have enjoyed a strong summer so far by bringing in Asmir Begovic, Nathan Ake and Jermain Defoe, but some players may now have to leave the club before the end of the transfer window.

Bournemouth’s Max Gradel in action with Preston North End’s Chris Maxwell

Striker Lewis Grabban joined Sunderland on a season-long loan deal this evening, and he may not be the only attacker who ends up heading to the Stadium of Light this summer.

The Daily Mail reported last week that Sunderland have failed with a loan bid for Bournemouth winger Max Gradel, with the Cherries willing to give him a chance to shine in pre-season and in the early stages of the Premier League season.

Gradel, 29, was major signing for Bournemouth in the summer of 2015, but his first season with the club was curtailed by injury, making just 14 appearances and scoring just once.

Last term, the Ivorian struggled for first-team football under Howe, as he failed to start a single Premier League game, and was limited to just 11 substitute appearances, bringing his future into doubt.

Max Gradel celebrates scoring the first goal for Bournemouth with manager Eddie Howe

Now, despite rejecting Sunderland’s loan bid, Howe has told BBC Sport that Gradel may still be allowed to leave this summer, if Bournemouth can’t find a clear role for him in their squad before the transfer deadline.

“With Max, we’ll wait and see,” said Howe. “If I can’t guarantee him games, then we may look at something,” he added.

Sunderland, like any other club, would want their business done early, but landing a player of Gradel’s quality late in the window could be perfect for the Black Cats, especially given that manager Simon Grayson has already worked with him at Leeds United – and they would be wise to bide their time and keep pursuing Gradel for the foreseeable future.

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