Leeds United have been dealt a setback in their bid to bring Bamba Dieng to Elland Road this summer.
That’s according to a report by French media outlet Homme Du Match (via Leeds Live), who suggest that Celtic could now seal the Olympique Marseille forward’s signature in the summer transfer window, despite the interest of Leeds, Newcastle United and West Ham United.
The report goes on to state that the 22-year-old has been exiled from first-team training by Marseille manager Igor Tudor in an apparent attempt to speed up the Senegal international’s departure, with the Ligue 1 side set to bring Inter Milan forward Alexis Sanchez in as Dieng’s replacement.
While it is true that Victor Orta and his Leeds United transfer team have been incredibly busy in the summer transfer window thus far – bringing no less than eight fresh faces into Elland Road since the end of last season – it would very much appear as if the Whites still require the addition of a new centre-forward prior to September’s transfer deadline.
Indeed, with Jesse Marsch’s first-choice striker, Patrick Bamford, featuring in just nine Premier League fixtures last season due to a series of different knocks, should the 48-year-old wish to give his side the best possible chance of avoiding a repeat of their fight for survival at the foot of the table this time around, a new option up top would appear a must.
And, considering just how impressive Dieng was for Marseille last season, the 22-year-old would appear to be a signing who would add much-needed depth to the Whites’ attacking arsenal throughout their 2022/23 campaign.
Indeed, over his 25 Ligue 1 appearances – only 11 of which came as starts – the £9m-rated talent was in fine goalscoring form, hitting the back of the net seven times – an average of once every 141 minutes of football played – providing one assist and creating four big chances for his teammates.
These returns saw the 11-cap international who Graeme Baily dubbed a “serious talent” average a SofaScore match rating of 6.82 – a score which, if he would have achieved at Leeds last season, would have ranked him as the Whites’ ninth-best performer in the top flight of English football.
As such, with time running out before the summer transfer window slams shut, Orta simply must begin stepping up his efforts to bring a new centre-forward into the club over the coming weeks, with Dieng appearing to be a very exciting candidate for the Spaniard to add to Marsch’s current attacking options in the 2022/23 campaign.