According to reports coming out of France, St Etienne coach Christophe Galtier does not want Leeds United target Max Gradel to leave the club in January.
Leeds have been linked with a move for their former winger, who is keen to feature on a regular basis as he looks to stake a claim for a place in the Ivory Coast squad for the World Cup finals in Brazil this summer.
Galtier is keen for Gradel to remain with the French top flight side. Speaking in the Yorkshire Evening Post , Galtier said: “Max is needed. He wants additional playing time for the World Cup. He`s a player I do not want to leave. With Max the discussions will be healthy.”
The 26-year-old has struggled to regain a regular spot in the side since returning from a seven-month injury lay off. Gradel returned to the St Etienne squad in October after being sidelined with a knee injury.
Gradel has made just seven appearances since his return to the St Etienne side, although he has started their last two games and he scored the only goal of the game in the 1-0 win at Montpellier.
Leeds boss Brian McDermott has been cagey when asked about the possibility of bringing Gradel back to the club. He has admitted he is interested in Gradel, who scored 18-goals for Leeds in their first season back in the championship in 2010/11, but he was sceptical about bringing back a former player for sentimental reasons having done so well in his first spell with the club.
McDermott is concerned with Gradel`s lack of first team opportunities since his return following a serious injury, also stating that he would not come cheap.
The one thing Leeds definitely do need is pace on the wing and Gradel would certainly bring that back to Elland Road if he was to return.
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