Sunderland 'close' to Lewis Grabban loan deal but Eddie Howe wants Max Gradel to stay

Lewis Grabban in action for Reading last season.
Lewis Grabban in action for Reading last season.
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Sunderland are reported to be closing in on a loan deal for Bournemouth striker Lewis Grabban.

The 29-year-old striker emerged as a target of Simon Grayson's at the weekend with the Black Cats keen on a season-long loan move.

Fresh reports suggest a deal is close as Sunderland look to bolster their attacking options following the summer departures of Jermain Defoe, Victor Anichebe and Fabio Borini.

Grabban is surplus to requirements at Bournemouth following the arrival of Defoe and boss Eddie Howe admitted on Monday that there is a strong chance he will leave.

Howe, speaking about Grabban and defender Marc Wilson, told the Daily Echo: "I think there is a good chance both players may look to leave the football club in this window.

"Obviously, I have to make some difficult choices and work with the players I feel are going to participate during our season.

"Unfortunately, I’m going to have to make some tough calls."

Grabban has previously played for a host of clubs including Reading on loan last season, Norwich City, Rotherham and Millwall.

Sunderland's hopes of landing Grabban's teammate Max Gradel have been hit after Howe expressed a desire to keep the forward on the south coast.

Howe's comments follow a failed loan bid from Toulouse for Gradel. Sunderland want Gradel on a season-long loan.

Howe told the Bournemouth Echo: "His attitude has been so good that we would be very reluctant to lose him.

"He has had a good pre-season so far, he has trained very well and is an important part of our squad.

"We’ve treated him as he deserves to be treated due to his attitude since he came back from injury.

"That is always a difficult period because you want to play but there is that period where you have to find your best form, and Max was in that moment.

"But this pre-season, he has shown he is back to his best. He has been really sharp and really impressive.

"He always has a smile on his face and he is very passionate about the game. He is very passionate about AFC Bournemouth and I have a lot of time for him, personally."

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