Gradi accepts defender's decision
By Andrew Scurr
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Crewe boss Dario Gradi is resigned to losing Madjid Bougherra in the summer.
Crewe Alexandra manager Dario Gradi is resigned to losing Algerian defender Madjid Bougherra in the summer.
Bougherra moved to Gresty Road in January from French Ligue 2 side Gueugnon and has impressed in his 11 starts for the club.
The 24-year-old had thought to be happy at Crewe, but following Alex's relegation to League One earlier in the month, he now wants away.
The player's agent claims a Premiership club have approached him about the African's services and although disappointed to be losing the talented defender, Gradi understands Bougherra's decision to play at the highest possible level.
"I've spoken to Madjid and he has told me that he could be playing in the Premiership next season and if not then at least The Championship," Gradi told the club's official website.
"He wants to stay in England and its dream to play at the top level.
"His agent will be telling him that Premiership clubs are interested but in my opinion I don't think he will be playing in the Premier League next season.
"I think he could play in the Championship and if that is open to him then I can fully understand why he won't commit himself to us."
Chris McCready will start in place of Bougherra for Crewe's final game in The Championship against Millwall.
Meanwhile, trialist Ryan Lowe was on the score sheet for the club's reserves in their 2-1 win over Port Vale.
The former Chester City man scored the winner as he bids to impress Gradi enough to offer him a permanent deal in the summer.