NEW Sunderland manager Simon Grayson has reportedly made Cherries frontman Max Gradel his number one striking target.

The Chronicle in Newcastle claims the Black Cats are keen to take Gradel initially on loan with a view to making the move permanent should they earn an immediate return to the Premier League.

Winger Gradel was restricted to 11 substitute appearances in the top flight for Cherries last season and spoke publicly of his frustration at a lack of game time.

The 29-year-old Ivorian enjoyed a fruitful spell under Grayson when he was in charge at Leeds, the boss signing him initially on loan from Leicester and then on a permanent basis.

The Chronicle article said discussions were “ongoing between the clubs” and suggested Cherries had slapped a £3million asking price on Gradel.

Grayson, who took the reins at the Stadium of Light at the end of last month, inherited a squad which contained no recognised senior strikers.

Gradel joined Cherries in a £7m move from St Etienne in August 2015 but saw his first season at Vitality Stadium wrecked by a serious knee injury.