Bournemouth defender Steve Cook and Max Gradel
Monday Aug 21, 2017. 10:00
English Championship club Sunderland AFC have revealed that they were in the race to sign new Toulouse FC signing Max Gradel.
AFC Bournemouth, who are campaigning in the English Premier League (EPL), recently shipped out the Ivorian international to French Ligue 1 side Toulouse on a season-long loan deal.
Sunderland manager Simon Grayson has since disclosed that they had reached an agreement with Bournemouth regarding Gradel's services, but the player was keen to return to France.
“We spoke to Max and he eventually decided to go back to France,” Grayson told The Northern Echo.
“We had agreed something with Bournemouth and ultimately he is a good player that I wanted to bring to the club.
“It shows you where we are as a club with the players that we are looking at," he continued.
“That would have been a big signing for us if we had managed to do it, but he just felt his family wanted to go back to France.
"And that was a disappointment for us, but that is part and parcel of the transfer window.”
The 29-year-old winger is back in the Ligue 1 having turned out for Saint-Etienne in the French top-flight league between 2011 and 2015.