The Championship duo of Hull City and Sunderland have suffered a blow in their pursuit of Bournemouth’s Max Gradel after seeing their initial approaches rejected by the Cherries, according to L’Equipe.
The 29-year-old moved to the Vitality Stadium back in 2015 after an impressive four-year spell with Ligue 1 side Saint-Etienne, in which time he scored 18 goals and laid on 14 assists in just 72 games for the club.
Yet things haven’t quite gone according to plan for the Ivory Coast international on the South Coast, with Gradel failing to start a Premier League game for the Cherries last term; he instead was introduced as a substitute on 11 occasions, which totalled just 123 minutes of playing time.
And it appeared earlier in the summer that his time at Bournemouth was set to end as he reportedly sought to leave the club, and interest has been widespread with Hull and Sunderland reportedly keeping tabs on the 29-year-old, as are Watford and French club Toulouse.
Yet recent reports suggest that the Championship duo have failed with their initial approaches for Gradel, with it reported that Toulouse are heading the chase given the winger’s desire to move to them.
And this is sure to be a significant blow for Hull boss Leonid Slutsky and Sunderland boss Simon Grayson, both of whom have been tasked with improving and rebuilding their respective squads after relegation from the Premier League last season.
The Tigers have seen several high-profile names exit the club this summer to leave Slutsky with an enormous job on his hands with just two weeks until the season begins, while Grayson takes over a Black Cats team that bagged just 29 goals last term, 14 of which coming from Bournemouth-bound Jermain Defoe.
Clearly, both sides would benefit from Gradel’s presence, yet it is looking increasingly unlikely that the 29-year-old will be making his way to the North East next term.
Hull and Sunderland fans… what do you make of the news? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!