It seemed a perfect match. The buying club wanted the player, the player wanted them and the selling club were ready to deal. The only thing missing was agreement over a fee.
The Daily Echo reports that Eddie Howe is a long-time admirer of Gray, having scouted the player extensively while he was at Birmingham. Leicester won the race to sign him then and wouldn’t budge on their valuation which was believed by other sections of the media to be in excess of £30m.
Gray was reportedly keen to complete a move to the south coast and work with Howe in particular. Whether the interest will be resurrected in January remains to be seen.
Bournemouth themselves refused to deal on players they consider to be essential to the squad. Benik Afobe, 24, was courted by former club Wolverhampton Wanderers with reports of a £15m bid being received by the Dorset club.
Wolves close ties with Jorge Mendes, a football super agent, did them no good; Bournemouth rejected the offer for a player they signed for £10m from the West Midlands outfit in January 2016.