Leeds have confirmed that Max Gradel is on the verge of completing a deal to join St Etienne. Following an announcement on the French club’s website, Leeds released a statement of their own, outlining that an offer (for an undisclosed fee) has been accepted after Gradel submitted a transfer request.

Following plenty of speculation including an offer from West Ham, Ken Bates claimed that Gradel would not be sold and it had seemed that the winger would be staying with the club. However, on Tuesday Gradel was the subject of a bid from another French club, Sochaux, which was firmly rejected before St Etienne made the announcement.

The official statement on the club website highlighted Max’s desire to move to his “native” France. The Ivorian is set to undergo a medical on Wednesday before the move is complete.

It will come as a disappointment to many Leeds fans who had hoped Gradel would stay after his valuable contribution of goals and assists last year. However, with the player’s contract up in the summer, the club has felt it best to cash in now.

With the transfer window closing at 11pm on Wednesday it leaves little time for Simon Grayson to bring in a replacement.