By Alex Stevens
Max Gradel has reportedly been the subject of strong interest from Watford – and Leeds fans have given mixed verdicts on whether their club should try to hijack the move.
The Mirror claimed on their transfer blog on Tuesday (10.15am) that ex-Elland Road winger Gradel was close to agreeing a £3million transfer from the Cherries to mid-table rivals Watford.
Twenty-four hours later, Sky Sports dismissed the possibility of the Ivory Coast international heading to Vicarage Road during the January window, reporting on its transfer centre blog on Wednesday (10am) that Walter Mazzarri’s side were not pursuing the player.
The new speculation about Gradel quitting the Vitality Stadium has prompted Leeds supporters to take to social media and discuss whether manager Garry Monk should try to re-sign one of the most popular players in the club’s recent history.
Some fans believe it would be a great deal at the £3million fee Watford were said to be discussing, while others condemned the 29-year-old for being injury-prone and expressed concern at his wage demands being too high.
Here is a selection of their messages on Twitter:
is Gradel is a viable option for us or have WE moved on?#lufc
— Nik B (@NorthernCrank) January 18, 2017
I’d drive gradel back but not at his wages is it ever gonna happen #lufc
— Gary Devonport (@DingleburtDev) January 18, 2017
— David Kershaw (@DavidKershaw7) January 18, 2017
— Old White Peacock (@pockpeacock) January 17, 2017
Gradel is cheap at £3m. Gradel is not cheap at 40k (2x #lufc ceiling?) each week.
— Kaine Greenwood (@kaineg23) January 18, 2017
£3million for Gradel!? Leeds are missing a trick there. #LUFC
— Ben Slater (@_Ben_Slater_) January 17, 2017
Gradel, 29, has been a bit-part figure for Bournemouth in the past two seasons since moving from French club St Etienne for a fee of £7million in the summer of 2015.
He was out for much of last season with a knee problem but manager Eddie Howe showed great faith in the winger by sanctioning a new contract last summer that runs until 2020.
Gradel is fondly remembered at Leeds for his integral role in the club’s promotion from League One during his two-year spell from 2009 to 2011, when he scored 25 goals and supplied 15 assists in 82 matches.
In other Leeds transfer news, the club have slapped a mega price tag on this first team star after Premier League giants expressed an interest in signing him this month.