St Etienne coach Christophe Galtier says the French club will look to keep Max Gradel for the rest of the season following the latest attempt by Leeds United to bring the winger back to Elland Road.
Galtier played down suggestions that Gradel could be sold before the end of the transfer window – but revealed that United’s former player of the year had asked for more appearances with a trip to this summer’s World Cup at stake.
Gradel is hoping to be part of the Ivory Coast squad for the tournament in Brazil and in an interview with French media, Galtier said the player and the club would need to “sit around a table” to clarify his future.
Leeds made initial enquiries about Gradel’s availability last month with a view to re-signing him in the January window.
Manager Brian McDermott said he “would be on a list of players we like” but warned against signing the 26-year-old out of “sentiment” after a year in which Gradel, right, suffered a severe knee injury.
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.”