Leeds United are reportedly closing in on the signing of Bamba Dieng with the Marseille striker set for talks over a deadline day move to Elland Road.
The Whites are in the hunt for new attacking reinforcements on deadline day after seeing their options depleted. That’s after top scorer Rodrigo suffered a dislocated shoulder injury which could rule him out for up to eight weeks. And with Patrick Bamford still feeling his way back to full fitness, Leeds are wary of being caught short of options once again.
Jesse Marsch’s side have already signed eight new players this summer. Their arrivals have given the Whites a fresh look and enabled them to make a solid start to the new season.
And prior to the midweek game against Everton, chief executive Angus Kinnear had used his programme notes to suggest any more signing at Leeds were unlikely.
Rodrigo’s ill-timed setback, however, has clearly brought a change of tack.
Marsch quickly made clear his admiration for Hwang Hee-chan, though Wolves ultimately waved away their interest.
That led Leeds director of football Victor Orta to board a flight to Eindhoven on Wednesday night. His aim was to secure a dramatic and significant late deal for Cody Gakpo.
But despite appearing to have a deal in the bag, a late change of heart from Gakpo saw the deal called off.
Thursday’s Euro Paper Talk insists all hope is not lost for Leeds on that front, however.
However, Leeds needs a new body in now and a frentic final day hunt has seemingly led them to Dieng.
Marseille want to sell Bamba Dieng – but there is competition
The 22-year-old Senegalese forward is being made available for transfer by Marseille.
The Ligue 1 side have reached their reached their limit of foreign loan exits, so it will be a permanent deal if Leeds can get it done.
Marseille are reportedly seeking a fee of just £8.6m (€10m) for Dieng following reports of a falling out with the player.
And that is a fee that Leeds are willing to meet.
His contract runs on a deal to 2024 and the French giants are keen to cash in on him now.
Per the Daily Telegraph’s Mike McGrath, Leeds face competition for Dieng from FC Lorient.
However, the Daily Mail’s Sami Mokbel claims it is Leeds who have agreed a deal and the player is now due to travel to England to finalise the deal.
Bamba Dieng has scored nine goals in 42 appearances for Marseille, having come up through their youth ranks. He can play across the attack, including centrally, which will give Leeds options and cover.
Dan James future looks uncertain
The arrival of Dieng may well push Dan James towards the exit door at Elland Road.
The Wales winger’s future has been the subject of some intense speculation this week following claims Leeds could allow him to leave.
He has featured in four Premier League matches this season, with the winger only missing out on the opening day due to suspension.
Amid links to Tottenham, Leeds boss Marsch made clear his wish to keep James around.
“I like Dan. He’s a big part of what we’re doing here, both before and since I came here,” Marsch said. “I do not anticipate big movements within the group, but we’ll have to see what happens.”
However, talks resumed over a potential deal to Spurs on Wednesday, though Leeds made clear they only want a sale.
That appears to have dissuaded Tottenham from a move, with Antonio Conte’s side only seeking a loan.
However, Fulham have since emerged as potential suitors for James, who are willing to meet Leeds’ £20m asking price.
And trusted reporter Fabrizio Romano insists there is a chance that James could depart Elland Road before the window closes.