Simon Grayson has told West Ham United to multiply their rejected £2.5m offer for Max Gradel by three or four times and he’ll consider parting with Leeds United’s 2010-11 player of the season. 

The Leeds United manager challenged his Ivorian winger to show West Ham what they are missing this Sunday by putting in a performance that forces the Hammers to return with an increased offer.

“West Ham made an offer for Max this summer, but it was not acceptable.

“Will he want to show West Ham what they are missing? Every time a player pulls on the shirt, you want him to play to the maximum of his ability – and that’s the case with Max.

“If he goes out there and scores a hat-trick and they come back in with three or four times the money they offered previously, then it’ll be something to think about.”

With just one year left on his contract at Elland Road, the reality is that Simon Grayson is unlikely to get anywhere near the figure he’s demanding.

The decision to release such a statement now could be taken as a “come and get him” plea from Grayson who fears contract negotiations will not yield the desired result for Leeds. It’s an entirely speculative suggestion, but the timing of this does seem a little odd.

But The Whites have shown before that they are not scared to lose out on a potential windfall by keeping hold of players until their contracts expire. Several offers were rejected for Jermaine Beckford with Leeds United keeping him until his contract expired at the end of the 2009-10 season, whilst Neil Kilkenny and Bradley Johnson both left on frees this summer.

Looking ahead to this Sunday’s clash, Grayson believes Leeds United could cause an upset at Upton Park with the odds stacked against them.

“Hopefully, we can go out there and become coupon busters. It is their remit to win promotion at the first time of asking, but I know we have a team who are capable of beating anyone on our day.”