Details of Sheffield United star Iliman Ndiaye’s surprising change of heart have emerged ahead of his move to Marseille. Ndiaye, despite previously agreeing to stay at Bramall Lane, is now set to sign for his boyhood club. This move will see Sheffield United receive £20 million for their prized asset.
Ndiaye was on the verge of signing a new long-term deal with Sheffield United, with the club even going as far as filming an announcement video. The club was so confident in his commitment that they had already prepared the clip. The report from The Star reveals that Ndiaye had even taken part in media duties, including wearing the iconic number 10 shirt previously worn by Billy Sharp, who narrated the video.
Sheffield United had drafted a press release that included quotes from manager Paul Heckingbottom and Chief Executive Stephen Bettis. Ndiaye, who has one year left on his contract, had recently discussed his future with owner Prince Abdullah. The player was set to be offered an improved contract, including a higher salary, which had been discussed during the team’s pre-season training camp in Portugal.
Ndiaye’s sudden change of heart has undoubtedly shocked the club, who now need to plan for life without him. Heckingbottom will have to explore the market for potential replacements, with several names already on their shortlist. Manchester City youngster James McAtee, who had a successful spell at Sheffield United last season, is being considered. Manchester United star Amad Diallo and Metz midfielder Georges Mikautadze have also been linked as potential options.
It’s clear that Ndiaye’s decision has created a significant impact on Sheffield United, forcing them to adapt and find suitable alternatives.
Sheffield United may have missed out on the permanent signature of Iliman Ndiaye, after he agreed a move to the French club Marseille, but they still had the foresight to film a celebratory video marking the transfer.
The video was shot earlier this week, with Ndiaye proudly displaying a Sheffield United shirt, with his new club number – 77 – printed on the back. The Senegalese youth international appeared excited to sign for the Yorkshire club and be shown around the Facilities at the Sheffield United Academy.
Following the shoot, Ndiaye’s agent was called to a meeting with representatives from Marseille and it was then announced that the young winger had agreed to join the Ligue 1 side.
It is a blow to United, who had done a lot of work to bring the 19 year-old to Bramall Lane, but it is not all bad news for the Blades. The footage of Ndiaye signing the shirt is likely to be a great asset to them if and when he does make a permanent switch to the Premier League in the future.
The transfer window is now closed and players are unable to move until the window opens again in January. At least Sheffield United can take some comfort in knowing they’ve already made a great start in trying to bring Ndiaye back to Bramall Lane.
For now, Ndiaye will turn his attention to his new team where he will be hoping to make a good impression and break into the first team. Sheffield United will be keeping a close eye on their former transfer target’s progress in France and will await their chance to sign him should he leave the Mediterranean side.