Max Gradel has today revealed that he has yet to receive a new contract offer from Leeds United. 

It’s been a nervous transfer window for Whites fans with West Ham United submitting a bid for the Ivorian winger and continuous speculation linking Gradel with a myriad of Premier League and Championship clubs.

With only a year left on his current deal, some fans fear a repeat of the Jermaine Beckford saga which saw the highly-rated striker leave on a free after his contract with the club expired.

Max Gradel responded to fans cries to sign his contract with the following;

 “Since I came to Leeds, I’ve always said that I want to be at this club. My contract finishes at the end of this season and I’ve been waiting for another contract but I haven’t been offered one yet. I don’t know what’s happening and I’ll wait and see.

“My wish was to do it as early as possible but it’s not down to me, it’s down to the club. I can’t sign a deal if there isn’t any deal to sign. But really, all I want to do is concentrate on football and play football.

“There’ll be higher expectations of me but I love pressure and it makes me play better. My aim would be to score more than 18 goals this season.”

The news has been met with a mixed reaction from Leeds United fans across the social networking sites and forums. Some feel Gradel’s situation is just another example of the club leaving it too late and making themselves vulnerable whilst others take a more pragmatic view, insisting that Max Gradel’s contract is a non-issue at the moment.

There’s a couple of ways you can look at this really. The first is that Leeds United are waiting for the transfer window to close before deciding on Max Gradel’s future because if they signed him up to an extended contract now, only to receive an acceptable offer later, they’d have already coughed up a signing-on fee that was largely pointless. His agent could also use the open transfer window and ongoing speculation as a bargaining chip for negotiating.

Another school of thought is that Max still has a year left on his current deal. He signed a two and a half year extension in January 2010, so when was the right time to renegotiate? Six months after the original deal when he’d just been sent off v Bristol and nearly cost us promotion? If we’re going to renew everyone’s contracts after 6-12 months, there’s little point in them signing a 3 year contract in the first place.

The fact of the matter is, that most contracts are renegotiated around the 6-12 months remaining stage. Leeds United have said before that they don’t discuss new deals during the transfer window, and that makes sense when you consider the player could end up leaving if an offer “too good to refuse” arrived. It could just be the funding Bates needs to build his new Travelodge after all.

Leeds United fans’ concerns are completely understandable. What happened with Jermaine Beckford has fans fearing that all our best players will walk away once we’ve nurtured them into stars and put their name on people’s radars, and there’s always a chance they will – this is 21st century footballing culture after all and loyalty is a rare commodity.

But, the new contract we’re all so desperate for Gradel to sign will be offered. Max will be given the opportunity to remain at Elland Road and sign a new deal. If he accepts then that’s great, happy days! If he doesn’t his mind is already elsewhere and there’s little we can do about it.

If Max wants to leave, contracts are irrelevant, players hold all the cards. Sure, we might have got a couple of million for him if he had a longer contract, but you’re kidding yourself if you think that money would have been spent on improving the squad and not Ken Bates’ vanity project.

38 Responses

  1. pabs1983

    Is anyone really suprised at the moment, that we have failed to offer one of the clubs best players a new deal. Its the same as the transfers, wait til the last minute then hope they accept rather than sorting it out earlier. Its been the same with loans. We haven't got any loans in yet, as papa smurf is reluctant to pay the wages before the season starts.

    • TSS

      I honestly don't understand when fans think deals should be negotiated. Last transfer window, only 6 months into his current deal? Or January a year in?

      If so, what is the point in signing a 3-4 year contract. They're pointless. They really aren't worth the paper they're written on nowadays, which is why they don't bother me too much. If he wants to leave, he will do so regardless of contract. If we get £4m for him, that will be spent on a hotel or executive lounge or something pointless 99.9% of fans couldn't care less about, so what difference does it really make?

      • pabs1983

        I would normally agree, but getting a player to sign a contract increases his value. Clubs are more likely to accept lower offers for players who only have 12 months on there contract, rather than lose them for free 12 months later. Signing a new 3 year contract, gives parent clubs more power to negotiate higher transfer fees for players.

  2. Jonesy

    It should have been offered at the end of last season – all the speculation turns players heads and they soon start realising they can get a much better deal elsewhere. It happened with Johnson too, Leeds wanted him to stay but he already knew what was out there. But Max had a cracking season and should have been 'rewarded' when it finished

    • TSS

      Six months after he'd signed his current deal and immediately following the sending off v Bristol that nearly cost us promotion? Seriously?

      If you're going to offer players a new contract with two year remaining, you need to be signing them up for 6-7 years at a time or it's utterly pointless.

      • Jonesy

        The end of the season just gone – you're referring to to 18 months ago! So yes, I am being serious.

      • Dje

        Entirely agree. Halfway through your contract and prior to less than 12 months left is the perfect time to offer a new contract for a player you know you want at the club for longer than the next season regardless of whichever division we are in then.

      • Matthew

        I agree TSS, at that point he was unproven at championship level and nearly cost us promotion, from a logical standpoint you have to step back and look at potential problem players on a pitch level and decide if they're really worth keeping around. Thankfully he calmed down and had a solid season, but from an obvious standpoint, giving him an extra few years and him not doing what he did last season would be ridiculusly foolish.

  3. banditsteve123

    Does anyone know how old gradel is because im sure he is under 24 if he is then leeds would get a fee anyway,In the past i have defended both bates and grayson but enen though i am ok with the squad we have with just even a medium amount of say 4 million it could have been really good the first 11 is strong then i would say we have maybe 7 0r 8 good back ups the squad is nearly there just needs 2 or 3 more,and by the way i would not like to be in leicesters shoes just heard they want shane long for 7.5 mill they must have close on 40 players how do you keep them all happy

    • Jonesy

      unless he goes abroad, in which case we would get nothing. Also, Gradel would be free to sign a pre-contract with a foreign club in January…… with Hamburg, PSG & Lille all being linked at the moment we have left ourselves in a difficult position

  4. leeds_lad

    The obvious thing in all this is that he will definitely leave. We shall either "cash in" and accept a fee ( as with Kasper ) or simply allow him to leave when his contract expires ( as with Beckford, Johnson and Kilkenny ). What is certain is that Bates will not pay the "going rate" due to the clubs apparently restrictive "salary cap". With this cap in place Leeds can clearly not retain or attract players of any quality.

  5. Paul South Wales

    It's pretty obvious that his agent is asking for silly money, or he'd be signed up by now. There are two sides to every story, and we shouldn't be held to ransom by anyone, however good a season they've had. Remeber he was in the reserves when we got him. I beleive we'll come to some sort of compromise shortly, but it's not all down to Bates, after all we were one of a small minority of clubs that actually made a marginal profit last year so it's being run correctly. The minute we go outside our wage structure (imposed for a good reason) we begin on the slippery slope back into oblivion. Noone is bigger than the club NOONE, MOT

    • TSS

      I wouldn't read much into the published accounts. They're carefully manufactured to a small-profit to improve credit rating and dodge tax in my opinion. I mean, where did the £7m come from for Bates' vanity project? It's extremely dodgy our club, can't believe anything published.

      • derbyshirewhite

        Can't avoid the fact that our wage bill is currently higher than total gate receipts. We get by on merchandising and sadly, like most FL clubs, also on player sales. If we offer Gradel a better contract then Snoddy, Howson etc will be at the manager's door next morning. The only two real options are promotion or owner with deeper pockets than Bates. The building work is no doubt funded through secured parent company loans but not available for player purchases which the banks consider high risk. Can't imagine why ….

  6. mattbb

    same old with bates, lets sit back, enjoy our last season with gradel, and watch him leave on a free next summer. Followed by the usual toshj about how theres people waiting to step up to the mark now hes gone.. agree TSS that theres no set rules to follow when it comes to timetable for renegotiating but really? do you honestly think it will come to that?! Bates acts like a mug with these contracts, the real value is in the transfer fee youd get when a contracted player moves, but there again hes probably forgotten all about that..

  7. sim

    And lets not suggest that the money to redevlop the east stand came from a loan secured against the ground. We dont own the ground do we Ken?? and in which case how do you Ken secure a loan against an assett that you dont own?? Its impossible to secure a loan against an assett that you dont own. Or did the owners of the Ground secure the loan against their assett in order to provide better facilities and to charge us more in rent??
    I wonder who really does own ER, its an absolutel mystery – NOT !!

  8. Lee B

    I suspect the reason he hasn't been offered a new contract is because his agent is still holding out on various issues. You don't generally (at least, in football) offer a "written" contract until you're sure that the player will sign it.
    On Paul's comment – I agree – no-one is bigger than the club and, especially when the new football governance rules come into force regarding wage structures, we'll be in a good position compared to other clubs because we've kept a lid on the wages (as much as that frustrates us all right now).

  9. Brian T

    Max has developed into a decent player and Leeds need to hold onto him long term. The only problem is Bates!!

  10. Peter T

    He should have been offered a new contract in May
    He had a great season said he wanted to stay
    If he wants too much either sell then before preseason or agree to him going at end of season if we do not go up

    He should not be left in limbo

    I am sure Sg is fed with with lack of funds and seeing money spent on empty corporate boxes in the middle of a recession

    Bye Bye Maxi great pity Papa S will sell you now you have said anything in public
    Expect Grayson to follow before Christmas if he wants to keep his reputation

    Howson out if contract too at end of season

  11. Richard D

    Can never understand why we don't put players on a 2 year rolling contract, then if they decide they want to go you have a 2 year window to sell them.

    • Jonesy

      because if you want to sell them and they don't want to go you're stuck with them for 2 years

  12. Matthew

    Personally I think we should be saying our goodbyes sooner rather than later to Max, maybe towards the end of the season we can get a thankyou Max chant going, so at the very least he gets a decent send off.

    There is no way, unless we get promoted that Bates will offer him decent money, expecting him to sign a contract anytime soon is deluded at best.

  13. Tim Campbell

    There really seems to be little good to say about the way leeds are operating in the transfer market (for the second year in a row). The big name signings of Dacourt, Ferdinand, Viduka, Hasselbank seem like a distant memory now. Admitedly we are nowhere near that level at the minute, but a smidgeon of ambition would be nice

    • Matthew

      Ambition to me would be the club upping the salarys to keep their better players, basically lift the limit of the wage threshold to something like 20k a week to keep our star players, and if this doesnt get us promotion in a few years time then simply put sell a couple and make the money back if we go into the red. It would be a gamble most people would love to see.

      Just I cant see us winning this league with what we have now, we may get lucky in the playoffs but we need a solidly built team that can keep challenging for the automatic promotion spot year after year without having to worry about being forced out/not having their contracts renewed as Bates wont pay them what they're actually worth.

  14. mattbb

    well we beat leicester reserves at Thorp Arch last night, and grella scored 2! there hows about that for a chink of light.. perhaps they'll let us borrow some of their players?.. worked out alright with Max

  15. Paul South Wales

    I find it incredible people are saying Leeds should up the wage cap , no way. We saw that ethos from that twat Ridsdale and look where that got us. We can barely cover the wages from the gate receipts as someone mentioned earlier. It's alright spending millions like Leicester, but they are a whole new team. We have got a good spine now, but just need a few back-ups. I think we'll be in the top four personally, and with a couple of extra player, even pushing for promotion. We've kept the stars, so who are we supposed to be buying? Another MF, and two wing backs and we'll compete with anyone, ANYONE in this league, mark my words. This time last year it was all doom and gloom, and we were a decent team, who with a better defence (which we have at present) would have easily got into the play-offs, so I for one are looking forward to the coming season, and getting behind the team. That said, if we're a crock of shit at Christmas, bin Larry and get in Gus, MOT


    Max has said that he wants to sign a new contract so the club will take him on his word and start negotiating it when the transfer window closes. That way his agent loses some of his leverage by touting him around for an immediate transfer. No one is going to put a bid in until January and it gives plenty of time to negotiate.

    They used exactly the same tactic with Becchio and it worked so let’s hope that it is not a money issue but more just timing.

    I think Gradel did have a good case to renegotiate a new deal sooner though because he is probably on a fairly low wage at the minute in comparison to his worth to the club.

  17. number1inyorkshire

    contracts are not worth nowt to a point ,i see joey Barton though is on with sticking with Newcastle til his expires in a year ,thats when they are worth something .
    i would offer gradel a deal with a get out clause for us and him ,say if a club comes in with 6-7 mill we can sell him or he can leave if he wants ,that way we all get some dosh .
    the decent clubs do though start negotiating deals for their best players well before they are due to expire just so rivals either have to pay big money or don,t get them .#

    i don,t think this is new to leeds though it has happened many times before with loads of players

  18. Leedstheoffside

    I think they have probably been told by his agent that he wants a certain amount, with the teams coming in for him I suspect is is around the £20K mark. They know they can't offer that, and he won't resign for pittance, so have probably just carried on. Gradel looks class to fans saying I am desperate to stay… but he hasn't said I will any offer. He looks good in the press, but he is probably wanting too much, and we will use him for one more year.

    • Matthew

      £20,000 a week is nothing to get an 18 goal a season player if he repeats his success. Craig Bellamy for example only got 11 goals for Cardiff and is on 4 times that amount at Man City. If we cant at least hold onto him, I can honestly say Bates is an effing joke.

      This isnt me being anti Bates, this is me saying I dont want to see the club I love go back down to league 1, and of course I want to see this club back in the Premier league, which wont happen if we stumble at keeping our best players.

  19. Paul South Wales

    If we start paying £20K a week. we'll soon be back down there. If he was paid that, then quite a few others would want the same. Bates is right sticking by his wage cap, and rightly so. It's only recently we've managed to get back in the black, and long may it continue. He's never worth that a week. Before we had him he was in Leicester's reserves remember, so let's not get carried away. MOT

    • Matthew

      Listen, theres a huge difference between an 18 goal a season player, and some nobody in a midfield/defender/forward position wanting the same money, we can simply show players that arent worth what they demand the door, and keep the ones that are.

      Your statement just verifys the fact we will lose all our best players, be it Snoddy, Gradel, Howson, Becchio, and anyone of value because Bates refuses to go with the standard wage for this league.

      We won't get promoted by losing our best players buddy. If anything we'l be back down in league 1 facing the likes of Exeter, Hartlepool, Preston, Huddesfield again, but hey, thats good enough for you right? Being in the black in all.

  20. mojoluafc

    Bates needs to up the salary cap a little, not loads but enough to get/keep good players. The cap is obviously too low as proven in the players preferring the likes of Ipswich.

  21. Sim

    I think we are all missing the point here. It's not so much a salary cap as a limit. We don't have the capacity to run this club in the negative. There isn't going to be any investment from Ken or anyone else and therefore to run a business in the negative you need and an overdraft/loan and we don't have a credit history so nobody is going to giving us an overdraft or a loan.

    If the funds to do up the East Stand have come from profit generated by the club then there clearly were funds to up the salary cap, if they were borrowed as suggested then the salary cap is set to keep the club in the black as there is no facility to operate in the red and thus the cap sets itself ….

    • Matthew

      If this is true, for arguements sake. Bates should sell Leeds United, because as a club, we're too big to be run like a league 1/2 outfit in regards to wages.

  22. Paul South Wales

    Yes let's pay all our players £20K a week and see where we are in a couple of years. Who are all these players that we are going to lose because of wages? Johnson, Killkenny? Hardly top class players! Bin them if they don't accept the offers. If our wages were that bad everyone would be off. It's time clubs stood up to the greedy bast£%d agents who push for farcical amounts each week. Bates, love him or hate him has kept Leeds afloat, and will take us up. Let's see if Max scores 18 goals again this season, and assess him after that. £20K a week for a championship player, no chance 18 goals or not!! Ridsdale incarnate

    • Matthew

      You're missing the point entirely.

      Firstly the very fact you asked *Where are these top class players we're going to lose* and mentioned 2 names I havent even brought up in response to you proves you havent read what I said and are just selecting random bits to try and prove a point.

      Secondly, most of our players signed contracts before we even got promoted meaning they're on league 1 salarys.

      Thirdly, as you dont seem to understand. You need GOOD players to get promoted/avoid relegation, if we lost Becchio, Howson, Nunez, Gradel, Snodgrass, and anyone else of value, we're well and truely screwed(I said this above, 6 responses above your reply)

      Fourthly, Jog on mate.

  23. Paul South Wales

    Yes and you don't seem to underdstand, WE HAVE GOT GOOD PLAYERS who I believe can take us up, you're just one of the doom and gloom brigade, who doesn't seem to grasp the fact that the club is run on a firm financial footing. For God's sake we finished just outside the play-offs last season, and as it stands we have a slightly stronger team going into this one. We also have some experience of the championship rigours. Two more playerswill arrive over the next couple of days and we'll be set up nicely. I don't know where the talk of relegation comes from, it's ludicrous. Contracts will be offered in due course, and I can't see anyone else leaving. Everyone needs to get behind the team. We haven't actually missed out on any big name signings, and I genuinly think most will be pleasantly surprised over the next two weeks, what with premier league squads being named and all. Have confidence. MOT


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