Gradel on Leeds United list says McDermott

Max Gradel.
Max Gradel.
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Brian McDermott last night spoke of his admiration for ex-Leeds star Max Gradel – but warned: “I won’t sign players out of sentiment.”

McDermott confirmed that Gradel would be on a “list of players we like” after United opened talks with St Etienne about the possibility of bringing the 26-year-old back to Elland Road.

But the Ivory Coast international has been troubled by knee problems during his time in France and McDermott appears wary of recruiting Gradel purely on the basis of his popularity among United’s support.

The Leeds boss said: “Max Gradel would be on a list of players we like, no doubt about that. But he plays for St Etienne and he’s been unfortunate with a couple of operations. What you can’t do is go on sentiment. Sometimes that’s dangerous.

“You can’t look back and say he was this player two years ago. Things change, people move on. When you bring someone in, you’ve got to make sure they’re absolutely spot on for what we’re trying to do now.

“I’ve got a target of two or three players. But if you’re trying to sign two or three players, you can’t just have two or three players on a list. You have to have different options. There are players out there who we think can improve us. If one of them is Max Gradel and we can do a deal then great. If not, we look elsewhere.”