Max Gradel has scotched talk of an imminent return to Leeds United - but admits he would like to return to Elland Road later in his career.
United – last night linked with a move for out-of-favour Reading defender Kaspars Gorkss – enquired into the prospect of bringing back the hugely-popular Ivory Coast international winger from St Etienne earlier this month.
Gradel confirmed his former club had been in touch with his representatives, but despite his emotional attachment to Leeds, he is set to stay in France as he tries to realise his dream of playing Champions League football.
Gradel, under contract until 2015 at St Etienne, who are seventh in Ligue One, said: “I know they (Leeds) tried to speak to my agent about coming back. But as much as I love Leeds – and I do have respect for them and their fans – football-wise, you want to improve and move on.
“I love Leeds and hope one day to go back there. But right now, I am in the top league and want to move forward and play Champions League football.” Click here to register and have your say on the Leeds United stories and issues that matter to you