Championship side Sunderland are set to be dealt a significant blow in their pursuit of Max Gradel, as the Bournemouth man looks set to sign for a French side this summer according to The Sun.
The 29-year-old winger moved to the Vitality Stadium back in 2015 after four years at Ligue 1 outfit Saint-Etienne, but has struggled to nail down a regular spot in Eddie Howe’s first team in the last few seasons.
In fact, Gradel failed to start a single Premier League game for the Cherries last term as the South Coast outfit finished ninth in the division, with his 11 substitute appearances totalling just 123 minutes of league action.
And with the Ivory Coast international reportedly wanting out of the club, Simon Grayson’s Sunderland were reportedly interested in his services, and earlier this week launched a loan move for the 29-year-old.
However, they look set to miss out on the winger, as recent reports suggest that Gradel will be returning to France with either Toulouse or Claudio Ranieri’s Nantes.
The latter finished six places and seven points better off than Toulouse last term in Ligue 1, yet it remains to be seen which of the two he will join as he looks to replicate his previous form when playing in France again in the coming years.
Ultimately though, this looks set to be another significant blow for Grayson and Sunderland, who have just over three weeks before they start their Championship campaign at home to Derby, and have added just the Everton duo of Brendan Galloway and Tyias Browning to the squad.
And it appears that Gradel won’t be joining the Toffees duo at the Stadium of Light this summer.
Sunderland fans… what do you make of the news? Let us know your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!