Leeds United agree to sell player of the year Gradel

Max Gradel, leaving Leeds United.
Max Gradel, leaving Leeds United.

LEEDS United player of the year Max Gradel is in France having a medical today after the Elland Road club agreed to sell him to French League side St Etienne for an undisclosed fee.

Gradel, 23, would have been out of contract at the end of the season and could have joined Jermaine Beckford, Neil Kilkenny and Bradley Johnson in leaving for nothing so United have decided to cash in while they can and say the player asked for a transfer yesterday.

The Ivory Coast international joined Leeds for an initial fee of £200,000 when he moved permanently from Leicester in January, 2010, having earlier been on loan. He quickly established himself as a fans favourite, but submitted a transfer request, stating his desire to secure a move to France and play at the highest level for his career development.

There has been big interest in Gradel from a number of clubs, but United say they reluctantly preferred to sell to St Etienne rather than to a rival English club.

Gradel has scored 25 goals in 81 appearances for United and played a part in the team that won promotion from League One in 2009/10 and also figured prominently on the return to the Championship last season.

There has been no news yet on signing any replacement, but Leeds will have to move fast with the transfer deadline tomorrow.