Leeds United are closing in on a deal to bring Bamba Dieng to Elland Road over the remainder of the summer transfer window.
That’s according to Fabrizio Romano, as the Italian journalist revealed in a recent post on Twitter that, following the Whites’ move for Cody Gakpo falling through this morning, Victor Orta is now closing in on a deal for the Olympique Marseille centre-forward – with the fee believed to be in the region of €10m (£8.5m).
In his tweet, the transfer insider said: “Leeds are closing in on Bamba Dieng deal after Gakpo deal collapsed. It’s a permanent transfer, not a loan — he is now set to agree personal terms and join Leeds.”
In a further update on Twitter, Romano revealed that the Whites’ bid for Dieng “has been accepted” – with the youngster now looking set to complete a switch to Elland Road in the coming hours.
While it is undeniable that Gakpo would have been an exceptional signing for Leeds to bring into the club this summer, with a move for the 23-year-old no longer appearing possible, Dieng would very much look to be something of a dream alternative to the Netherlands international.
Indeed, the £9m-rated forward enjoyed an impressive breakthrough campaign over his 25 Ligue 1 fixtures – only 11 of which came as starts – in 2021/22, bagging seven goals, providing one assist and creating four big chances for his teammates – playing an important part in Marseille securing a widely unexpected second-place finish in the French top flight.
The 22-year-old – who can operate from either wing, as a support striker or as a centre-forward – also caught the eye over his five appearances in the African Cup of Nations earlier this year, scoring two goals – in the round of 16 and the semi-final respectively – to help Senegal seal their first ever title in the competition.
Furthermore, expectations of the youngster’s future are clearly extremely high, with former Marseille manager Jorge Sampaoli stating his belief that Dieng is an “explosive player with great potential,” while Graeme Bailey revealed that the Marseille starlet has been dubbed the “new Sadio Mane,” as well as stating his own belief that the forward is a “serious talent.”
As such, while the 11-cap international is by no means as ready-made a talent as Gakpo – who has already scored six goals, registered three assists and created five big chances over his four Eredivisie fixtures this season – Dieng would very much appear to possess the potential to one day go on to emulate the Dutchman’s returns in front of goal – leading us to believe that the 23-year-old would make an exceptional – not to mention more cost-effective – alternative to the £40m PSV Eindhoven star.