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Simon Grayson denies Max Gradel Leeds United exit talks

Max Gradel
Gradel has played for Leicester, Bournemouth and Leeds in England

Leeds United boss Simon Grayson has dismissed newspaper reports linking winger Max Gradel with a move to Newcastle in exchange for Leon Best.

Wigan are also rumoured to be interested in the 23-year-old Ivorian, who has scored five goals in his last four games and eight in all this term.

Grayson told BBC Radio Leeds: "Max is an important part of our team. I don't expect him to go anywhere."

Gradel joined Leeds from Leicester in January after a two-month loan deal.

Grayson said: "There will be a lot of speculation over the next month regarding players moving in and out of this club.

We would like to try and keep Andy if possible, try at least to extend the loan to the 93 days and then the next option is to extend the loan to the end of season

Leeds United boss Simon Grayson on Andy O'Brien

"This time of year you get agents looking for a little bit of commission, trying to do a bit wheeling and dealing and making their money.

"We'll be linked with many players, but whatever happens with ins and outs it will be for the best interests of this football club."

Other players Grayson is keen to keep at Elland Road are defenders Andy O'Brien and George McCartney.

Centre-back O'Brien's loan deal from Premier League Bolton expires on 4 January, following Leeds' trip to Cardiff City.

Left-back McCartney has already returned to Sunderland and will be unavailable for United's New Year's Day clash with Middlesbrough at Elland Road.

"We would like to try and keep Andy if possible, try at least to extend the loan to the 93 days and then the next option is to extend the loan to the end of season," he said.

"Or then another option is to try and do a permanent deal, but that all depends on what Bolton want to do with Andy.

We are talking to Sunderland to see if there is a deal to be done. George has loved his time here and done very well for us and I'd like to try and bring him back to the club

Leeds United boss Simon Grayson on George McCartney

"We'll be having a conversation with Bolton and Andy over the next few days to see where we can go with it.

"George's 93 days loan has finished with us now. The Football League don't open on New Year's Day for us to do anything with that now.

"We are talking to Sunderland to see if there is a deal to be done. George has loved his time here and done very well for us and I'd like to try and bring him back to the club.

"The only way we can bring him back now is through a loan deal until the end of the season or on a permanent basis.

"But to bring him back on a permanent basis might be too hard for us to do in terms of the financial package he is on at this moment in time at Sunderland.

"If negotiations go well with Sunderland and George we would hope we could bring him back in time for our game at Cardiff, but there is quite a bit of work still to be done with that, but we are working hard on it."



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