Leeds lining up January move for old boy

St Etienne winger Max Gradel

Neil Warnock is reportedly lining up a shock move to bring St Etienne winger Max Gradel back to Leeds United, the Sun reports.

The Leeds chief is interested in making the loan deal for Jerome Thomas a permanent one from West Brom, but if that fails he wants to bring Gradel back to Elland Road.

Despite being a regular in the St Etienne team and featuring in all of their league games so far this season, the 25-year-old is understood to be open to offers for a return to England.

The Ivory Coast international scored 24 goals in 74  appearances for Leeds after joining from Leicester, before completing a switch to French side St Etienne for £1.5million in August 2011.

He won the player of the year award in Leeds first season in the Championship, netting 18 goals in the process in a campaign which saw his side just miss out on the play-offs.

Leeds currently sit 14th in the Championship table after a mixed start to the season, but they are only four points off Watford in the play-off places and will hope January additions can help them move up the table.

It has been a frustrating time for the club, losing key players such as Jonny Howson and Robert Snodgrass to Norwich City over the course of the two 2012 transfer windows and they have had to regroup.