Gradel joined Toulouse this season on-loan from the Cherries and revealed he also held talks with ASSE.
The midfielder faced his old club this weekend for the 0-0 draw.
"I could have come back to Saint-Etienne this season but someone from the recruiting team said I was cooked," said Gradel.
"And so it did not happen."
Speaking earlier this season about his decision to leave Dean Court, the Ivorian admits he had the World Cup in mind.
"I know Ligue 1 and the decision to come back here was not difficult, but there is no problem with Bournemouth," he said.
"My personal desire is really to play regularly this season considering the qualifications for the World Cup. My decision is based solely on sports criteria."