With a contract expiring at the end of the last month, it looked like Tours FC right-back Jonathan Gradit was on his way out of the Ligue 2 club.
However, the 24-year-old recently renewed his deal for the upcoming season, despite having a range of offers in front of him, including one from the Premier League at the time.
Speaking to La Nouvelle République in France, Gradit revealed the reasons behind his contract extension, and why he turned down a move to Sunderland.
He said: “I was coming to the end of my deal, and with offers from English clubs, like Sunderland, as well as Ligue 1 sides, it’s true that I was ready to go at that point. However, I’d promised the manager I wouldn’t go anywhere else in Ligue 2. There was also contact with a Belgian side.”
The player then explained he wanted everything to be sorted ‘fairly quickly’, but some of the clubs ‘took their time’ or told him to ‘wait a little bit longer’.
Wanting to be contracted with a club at the beginning of July, their indecision is why he stayed: “I’m happy to have done so in a club where I feel good, even if I want to go higher later.”
Whether David Moyes’ sacking, as well as the arrival of Simon Grayson, had anything to do with it, we’ll probably never know, but it wouldn’t surprise us if Sunderland ended up being one of the clubs who told him to hold on for a bit.
Gradit made 31 appearances last season with Tours, picking up three assists.