Ivory Coast winger Max Gradel makes Bournemouth return

Bournemouth, 7/5 relegation chances with Coral, have completed the permanent signing of Ivory Coast international winger Max Gradel for an undisclosed fee, seven years after his loan spell at Dean Court from then parent club Leicester City ended.

Prolific for Ligue 1 outfit St-Etienne last term, scoring 17 times in the league, 27-year-old Gradel, who has signed a four-year deal with the south coast club, is best known for his 22-month spell at Leeds United where he helped them earn promotion to the Championship.

Cherries coach Eddie Howe has already invested in increasing his wide options prior to grabbing Gradel with a move for former Blackburn Rovers and Norway forward Joshua King on a free, plus capturing Chelsea’s Ghana international Christian Atsu on loan.

Gradel was previously with Bournemouth during the 2007/08 season, scoring nine goals that campaign when they were relegated from League One. He also netted twice during the Ivory Coast’s successful Africa Cup of Nations campaign earlier this year in Equatorial Guinea.

“AFC Bournemouth have signed Ivory Coast international Max Gradel, subject to international clearance and Premier League approval, from St Etienne for an undisclosed fee,” the club announced on their official website.

“Gradel returns to the Cherries seven years on from his last appearance for the club, where he spent two separate loan spells in the 2007/08 season.

“The 27-year-old has put pen to paper on a four-year contract after passing a medical to become the seventh summer signing at Vitality Stadium.”

Bournemouth will certainly be happy to add Gradel, who got the most goals (13) in Ligue 1 in 2015, to their exciting attacking squad. They have signed other experienced English league players such as Sylvain Distin and Artur Boruc, from Everton and Southampton respectively, too.