Who is Bamba Dieng? Leeds United-bound forward set for Premier League transfer after frosty summer
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Leeds United’s transfer deadline day began with disappointment as director of football Victor Orta reportedly returned from his attempt to hijack a transfer for PSV Eindhoven forward Cody Gakpo, without the Dutch forward in tow.
According to reports on the continent, Leeds swiftly turned their attentions to Olympique de Marseille forward Bamba Dieng as an alternative, due to the player’s availability.
Dieng has been frozen out at Stade Velodrome with new head coach Igor Tudor admitting the 22-year-old was surplus to requirements, to the dismay of the club’s supporters.
"We have five players for the way we play [most often in 3-5-2] since Dimitri [Payet] is also a second striker. It's difficult to give him [Dieng] minutes. Sometimes that happens in football,” Tudor admitted to French reporters at the start of the season.
Despite netting a hat-trick during pre-season Dieng has not featured for OM since the middle of June, left out of Tudor’s matchday squad in each of their fixtures so far this term.
L’Equipe also report Marseille executive Pablo Longoria is keen to raise funds through the sale of players deemed expendable.
Throughout August, Dieng has been ‘relegated to the fringes of the group’, according to the French sports daily, as quoted by Get French Football News. indicating an exit is anticipated.
Although, sources in France claim Dieng’s preferred move throughout the summer has been a switch to fellow Ligue 1 side Lorient on an initial loan deal.
OM on the other hand are keen to push through a permanent sale and personal terms are not thought to have been an issue with Leeds.
Dieng is a 22-year-old Senegalese international forward whose contract in the south of France expires in the summer of 2024.
The youngster has featured as a striker or as a wide attacker during his time in Ligue 1, having signed for the club from reputable Senegalese outfit Diambars, renowned for developing players who frequently land in Europe at a young age.
Last season, Dieng score seven goals in France’s top flight. The 11-cap Senegal man has featured 42 times for OM, scoring on nine occasions.
He is expected to arrive in Leeds and put pen to paper on a four-year deal later today, after chairman Andrea Radrizzani urged fans to ‘welcome’ Dieng to the club.