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26th Jan, 2017 | 4:57pm

Report: PL club reject £4m bid for wantaway attacker, Aston Villa interested in loan

By Dominic Toner

Bournemouth have rejected a bid from Premier League rivals Watford for wantaway attacker Max Gradel, according to a report.

The Sun claim that Aston Villa and Midlands rivals Birmingham are interested in the 29-year-old, but it’s Watford who have made a move for him.

It is understood that Bournemouth have rejected a £4million bid for the pacy winger during initial talks with Watford.

The report details that Gradel wants to force a move away from Dean Court to experience regular first-team football, but has his heart on staying in the Premier League.

That means Championship club Villa face a tough task to convince him to drop down a league, but are interested in taking him on loan.

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Steve Bruce has been highly active in the January transfer window and completed five new signings to improve his mid-table side.

Conor Hourihane, Henri Lansbury, Birkir Bjarnason, Sam Johnstone and James Bree have all completed a move to the Midlands giants.

Villa are looking to rebuild their squad and mount a late challenge for the play-off spots, which they are currently nine points adrift of.

Gradel has endured a frustrating season at Bournemouth and has not featured since the 22 October against Tottenham.

The left winger has been at the Africa Cup of Nations with Ivory Coast and has fallen down the pecking order under Eddie Howe.

Football Insider verdict:

Villa look to face a tough battle to sign Gradel in January, but the appeal of manager Bruce could be a helping factor. They have signed some strong players in January and look prepared to take the Championship by storm in the second half of the season. Villa would probably prefer an extra attacker in January and Gradel would certainly fit the bill. However, he is hopeful of staying in the top-flight and believes he has the quality to perform regularly. It could be in the best interest of the player to pursue a loan move to the Championship as he would be guaranteed regular first-team football.. He scored an impressive 19 goals in 45 league appearances in the Championship for one of his former clubs Leeds and is certainly a talented attacker.

In other Aston Villa transfer news, Stan Collymore has delivered his verdict on the club’s new signing.

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