Huge Sheffield United blow as star man ‘wants move’ to Marseille; personal terms talks ‘advancing’

Jason Soutar
Sheffield United winger Iliman Ndiaye during the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City.
Iliman Ndiaye during the FA Cup semi-final against Manchester City.

Sheffield United could lose Iliman Ndiaye for their return to the Premier League as Marseille reportedly close in on the signing of the Senegalese winger.

French-born Ndiaye can operate as a winger, attacking midfielder and striker and played a huge role in the Blades’ promotion from the Championship last season.

He scored 14 and assisted 11 as he played in all 46 second-tier fixtures in 2022/23.

The 23-year-old now has 36 goal contributions in 88 appearances across all competitions for Sheffield United.

Paul Heckingbottom’s side are in a sticky situation when it comes to Ndiaye, however, as his contract is set to expire in 2024.

In April, transfer expert Fabrizio Romano said the Senegalese international is ‘expected to get a big move’ in the summer transfer window amidst interest from Everton and Italy.

Romano tweeted about Ndiaye for the first time since then last week, saying there are ‘crucial days’ ahead.

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Marseille got a mention, while ‘several Premier League clubs’ are also in the race, ‘including Everton’, the poor sod.

On Tuesday evening, the Italian journalist provided a huge update on Ndiaye’s future.

He says Marseille are now in ‘advanced negotiations’ over personal terms and an agreement is ‘expected soon’.

Unfortunately for Sheffield United, the player ‘wants the move’ with ‘a five-year deal being dicsussed’.

The deal is absolutely ‘on’, though there is some work to do in regards to a transfer fee being agreed between the two clubs.

Before Romano’s tweet on Tuesday, Foot Mercato journalist Santi Aouna said Ndiaye and Marseille have reached an ‘agreement in principle’ while the Ligue 1 side negotiate a fee with the Blades.

A move to the Ligue 1 giants has been in the works for quite some time. He spent time with Marseille as a youngster before following his family back to Senegal.

In a recent interview with So Foot, Ndiaye spoke of his admiration of the club.

“Since I was little, I love OM,” he said. “When I was little, my father offered me to go to PSG or Marseille for tests. I said direct OM!

“I played a year there, it’s a club I always carry in my heart. I watch all their games, I hope they will qualify for the Champions League.”

Ndiaye added: “They seem to have a good project, the president (Pablo Longoria) has been doing a good job since he’s been here. Why not one day!”

Aouna has recently reported the Premier League club’s interest in Brondby midfielder Anis Slimane.

The 22-year-old played in two of Tunisia’s three World Cup matches last year and scored four goals in 36 appearances across all competitions for Brondby in 22/23.

Aouna says United are ‘confident’ they will complete the signing of Slimane, who is out of contract next year.

There was no mention of a fee, though the player was linked with a move to French side Lorient for around €3million (£2.5million) in January.

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