Leeds vanish from top striker target hunt, painting Jesse Marsch transfer picture for January plans

Bamba Dieng, July 2022

Leeds United have not renewed contact with the representatives of Bamba Dieng after failing to sign the striker in the summer, a report claims.

The Whites made a flying start to the summer transfer window, with Brenden Aaronson and Marc Roca highlight acquisitions. But amid further concerns over Patrick Bamford’s fitness, Leeds sought another late attacking signing.

As well as Aaronson, they signed winger Luis Sinsterra from Feyenoord. However, Marseille’s Senegal international Dieng was a top target on transfer deadline day.

Leeds thought they had a deal wrapped up for the 22-year-old, until he decided to sign for Nice instead. In another shock twist, though, Dieng failed his Nice medical and he ended up staying at Marseille.

Leeds did eventually get another attacker in, though, with Wilfried Gnonto leaving FC Zurich for Elland Road.

The Dieng saga is still fresh in the memory for Leeds, but journalist Jonathan Shrager claims the Whites are yet to reignite interest in him.

What’s more, Dieng and his representatives have not had any further contact from Nice or any other French club about a move for the striker.

Dieng has not made it into Marseille’s Champions League squad and so is eyeing as many Ligue 1 minutes as he can get.

Although, he has yet to enjoy any game time for Marseille, with his future at the club now looking highly uncertain. Dieng will have two years left on his contract at the end of this season, so he could leave then.

The Senegalese could also leave in January if interest from suitors re-emerges.

Dieng, Gnonto in contrasting situations at Leeds, Marseille

The summer transfer window has put Dieng and Gnonto in contrasting situations in the early part of this term.

The former is now struggling for game time after making headlines on deadline day. And it remains unclear how much game time he will get, given he has not made a single matchday squad for Marseille.

Gnonto may also be struggling for first-team game time, but Leeds boss Jesse Marsch insisted when discussing a potential move for Gnonto that he would be a long-term project.

And given the plethora of exciting talents that have come through at Leeds in recent seasons, the future looks bright for Gnonto.

He will first look to impress in the club’s reserve ranks. From there, he will look to follow a well-trodden path to first-team football like so many others in recent times.