MaxGradel_2481990Max Gradel has moved to end speculation linking him with a return to Elland Road by telling the BBC’s John Bennett he wants to remain in the French top flight.

The 24-year-old winger is currently away on international duty at the African Cup of Nations, but told Bennett he was aware of the rumours.

Gradel scored 24 times in 73 appearances for The Whites and admitted he still has a lot of the love for the club. However, the Ivory Coast star said he was enjoying life in France and hoped to one day play in the UEFA Champions League.

Elsewhere, Luciano Becchio looks to be edging ever closer to the Elland Road exit door with clubs from Turkey and China rumoured to be leading the chase. Leeds are believed to be looking for a fee somewhere in the region of £2.5m.

  • mylifeinleeds

    Shame, Max and Snoddy are the only two players we’ve lost in recent years that I have been gutted about. I would have liked to have seen him return, but thought it was PR spin when I first heard about it. I would never say never though – I can see him returning if we were to get promoted to the Premiership (thats if we do it before he retires!)

  • markman

    not sure about Max
    how many players leave clubs and then return and play at the same level.
    The max era has been and gone.

    • Matthew

      In this day and age most footballers that have tasted Premier league football return to the lower leagues, how many do you think are in the Championship now that have played for a team in the upper leagues? I would say almost a 100.

      Beckford for one, left us for Everton and returned to Leicester now at Huddersfield.

  • Sum1

    we haven’t a pot to pi55 in anyway.. even if Max wanted to return.
    Takeover, that wasn’t a takeover, out with the old boss, in with the same boss. Played us like Morons!

    Bates Out – GFHC Out

  • Lufc1979ish

    £2.5 million?? When will we ever learn to get the going rate IF we are forced to sell our best players. Ok he’s knocking on a bit but we should be looking for £3.5 to £4 million for him with the amount of goals he has consistently scored for us. Same old leeds, were just an easy pushover every time.

    • TSS

      £3.5-4m – Seriously? He’s a 29 year-old Championship striker, I’m surprised we’re able to seek an asking price of over £2m personally.

      • Ron

        I think we all need to stop worrying about Becchio leaving and pray to almighty God that whatever we get is poured back into the squad. Incredibly that Becchio leaving may mean Warnock will play McCormack in position, so I am not worried about scoring goals if the ball gets to them. A fast wide man and one decent defender will do us. Time to get Somma back playing good minutes also. This isn’t a disaster, just disappointing we are here again at the end of a transfer window and on our knees praying for reinvestment.

      • Irving08

        It depends on the market we would be selling in as well as the market we are seling from. But leaving that aside, 2 million does look a bit on the low side, given his goal scoring record. And 29 is not particularly old, particularly for a late developer. We should squeeze his proposed wage to a level that gives us a good return. And if he does not find that acceptable, so be it: he stays – which is my preferred option. To my mind, spending money should not be a priority, absent a coherent club philosophy on and off the field.

      • Matthew

        Scum paid 25 million for Van Persie in the Premier League despite him being like 30 now. 2-3 million for a 20 goal almost a season striker at Championship level is reasonable to me.

  • Chris M

    Anyone else think the chronology of this rumour surfacing is dodgy. YEP report an enquiry about Max is made on same day that Becchio hands in a transfer request.

    This stinks of a shameless attempt to mollify fans ahead of the bad news with a tenuous link to a former favourite.

    This is Bates’ modus operandi to a tee.


    We don’t need Max back because we have Varney who was a revelation at long last yesterday. All those extra tennis lessons and coaching appears to have paid dividends for Luke who really is a lovely lad and hopefully will turn the corner now and win us all over.

    Had a great game of tennis today here in Watford just to help burn off some of the ecstacy from yesterday following our magnificent mashing of the spuds !!

    Congratulations to Neil for riding all of the recent criticism – most of it unwarranted and I too was once his biggest critic hanging on to everyy word he would utter but now, I am converted. Neil has just presided over 7 magnificent home wins on the bounce and should be much revered.He has a lovely wife and fantastic family so we should really support and enjoy him while we can.

    Come on GFH show some ambition towards our manager and follow Newcastle’s lead by granting Neil and his team an 8 year deal. He deserves it and is the man to take is forward.

    I am off to Cornwall for my holidays and fully intend to meet up with Neil as usual for a spot of tennis. He has fantastic ground strokes and an excellent first serve a you would expect from such a wily old fox.

    Anyhow, must dash because off to JA606 to preach to the converted.

    If anyone is uo for a game of tennis please look me up on JA606.


  • markman

    re this transfer window
    I suspect that if Becchio leaves,any money would be reinvested before thursday.
    however i think that we may see the odd loan coming in and the Everton lad’s loan period
    I am sure that any player purchases will come in the close season when there will be a far greater pool of players are available and the next manager situation is sorted out.

    If we lose to cardiff we could be 9 points off the playoffs with a vastly inferior goal difference.A lot of ground to make up.

    i have always thought the new owners would treat the remainder of this season as a getting to know the set up scenario and player purchases would be for next year.

  • Tim campbell

    Read rumours of McCourt of celtic coming. Hes certainly more of the attacking type of player i’d like to see at elland road – runs at defenders and has an eye for goal

  • tim campbell

    I heatd McCourt of Celtic was a possibility – id love to see him here, great with the ball at his feet, runs at defenders and has an eye for some cracking goals – a more realistic signing than maxi

  • igiveup

    Just watched highlights of yesterdays game on itv. Why did the players walk straight from the pitch at the end of the game, only Diouf seemed to acknowledge the Kop. I was there yesterday and it bugged me then and still is now

  • Belfast White

    in other words, he wont come back unless we’re in the Prem League, but by that stage would he get on our team? class Championship player, Prem League? questionable.

  • Irving08

    St Etienne have a great group. Why would he want to leave ?

  • Matthew

    Shame about Max, but is anyone else concerned that Thursday is the deadline day and we’ve had absolutely no one confirmed as coming to us?

    • Irving08

      No news is good news so far as I am concerned. I have little confidence in Warnock’s judgement of players or of the club’s needs.

  • Ron

    Daily Telegraph football correspondent John Percy on Twitter: “Leeds have made a late bid to sign Stephen Warnock ahead of West Ham. Longer contract on offer at Elland Road. Should be resolved today.”

    • Irving08

      Another pointless signing, if it is true. Just when White is restored to his proper position and showing what he can do – Bale’s vain attempts to outpace him on Sunday were among the highlights of the first half – Warnock senior goes after another left back. If he feels the need for back-up for White, he should not have sent Charlie Tayor out on loan. As well as pointless, the signing of Warnock junior would be irresponsible, yet another problem for his successor to deal with.

      • Ron

        I agree, especially if we have an ageing wage-taker on our books for 3 years. For a club that has been vocal about the need to lower wages to Championship players, we sure like giving average wages for great periods of time…….what’s the difference?

      • Pete Sasqwax

        Taylor won’t be ready to come into first team contention until next season, at which point I’d expect him to challenge for LB, with Warnock providing cover at both LB and the left side CB. Getting Warnock in means that Aidy White can push forward and use that incredible pace of his to fuel the attack. The only thing he’s lacking is the ability to take a man and commit the defenders. Whilst working on that, he can still beat the to touchline for pace and whip in a good cross. I’d love to see Byram do the same down the right, although he and Green do seem to have a good understanding between them. I could be wrong, but I see Warnock’s signing as being an admission that we’re having no luck bringing in a left winger and therefore have decided to look at the issue from another perspective i.e. evaluate what we have at the club already and push White forward, necessitating a replacement for him in his current role at LB. I remain very intrigued to see how it will pan out when (/if) Warnock signs.

        • Irving08

          When CT was sent out on loan Warnock senior indicated that he envisaged his returning at Xmas thereby implying that he would then be a contender; but that was before the ‘Peltier experiment’. Leaving that aside, should Warnock junior be signed, Taylor next season will find his progress blocked by an average player on a 3 year contract. Taylor’s own contract expires in two years and he may just get fed up of waiiting. Your point about White had occurred to me since I can’t see us signing a left-sided wide man, especially in light of the fact that we recently acquired Hall. White then could do a job wide left, but it would be just that, ‘a job’, absent some serious coaching on his ‘dribbling’ skills. However it pans out, I remain a firm supporter of White, who would always be in my side, preferably at left back.

          • Pete Sasqwax

            not 3 years, mate. come summer, he will have 2/3rds of an 18-month contract remaining, which seems fine to me. I know what you mean re: White and I agree – he lacks the dribbling ability to really make a massive impact at LW, although it’s not beyond the realms of possibility that he could grow into this role. What does concern me, as I’m a big fan of the lad, is that AW has been in and around the first time for a few seasons now without being given any concrete idea of what position the club see him as occupying on any kind of permanent basis. Taylor getting more experience under his belt at one of the top sides in Scotland, under one of the better defenders of his (/my) generation (in “big Bootch”, as Alan Brazil calls him) can only be a good thing, I think… as long as he gets games. Warnock should know better than to try to make estimations of when a player will be reader for first time duty. He didn’t imagine Byram was at the start of this season, after all. Young players are very difficult to predict at this stage. I remember watching a fantastic FA Youth Cup side which included a standout performer called Jamie Forrester… remember him? I’m pretty confident that Taylor and the other current crop of young talents will make the grade at ER but I’m loathe to put the burden of too much expectation on them too soon

          • Irving08

            Of course, the more immediate danger is that White, willing though he is, will get fed up of being treated as some kind of super-sub, and stick in a transfer request. There will be plenty of takers for a player of his pace and raw talent – particuarly after the Spurs match.

  • Ron

    Grant Holt could be available if Norwich sign Hooper from Celtic. There’s a player who could get us up if we could snare him. Maybe wishful thinking, but we all know Warnock’s penchant for an ageing fighter.

    • Matthew

      Too expensive for us. Remember all the fuss he kicked up about money and wanting to leave, and on the deadline Norwich gave in and gave him what he wanted? I bet he’s on over 20k a week.

      You could get whats his name from Bradford for cheaper.

  • Stanbroadbent

    There was never a chance of him coming back. Just another smokescreen to cover yet another top player leaving

  • mrbigwheels

    There won’t be anyone coming into Leeds unless Becchio moves on… too many bills to pay and no committed cash. Can’t believe the betting odds are moving to the land of mustard and tweeting birds. Someone tell me we’ve got new owners… please.

    • Matthew

      It’s quite depressing, but on the brightside at the end of the season Paul Rachubkas contract will be up and he’l be far away from his and many other players who are deadweight will be gone as well, though some are on loan till Seasons end.

      We’l have some freed up money by seasons end.

  • Murph

    I hope that we sell Luciano if we receive a bid of 3M and reinvest in good young players. Josh McEachran just tweeted he is en route to Leeds?