Leeds United could also be able to burn their bridges with Bamba Dieng after agonisingly missing out on the Marseille striker on transfer deadline day. The 22-year-old’s last-minute diversion to Nice spectacularly backfired when he failed a medical, leaving him in a clumsy predicament with the 2022/23 season heating up.
Dieng has admirers across Europe but Marseille boss Igor Tudor doesn’t seem like one in all them. The Senegalese teenager hasn’t been within the first-team fold this season despite notching seven Ligue 1 goals last day trip and it appeared as if he would seal his exit on deadline day.
Things were moving quickly when Leeds and Marseille struck an agreement, but Dieng was reportedly on the airport when Nice offered him the chance to remain in France. The 22-year-old and his camp stunningly backtracked on their agreement with the Whites, but he was left within the lurch when he failed his medical with the French outfit.
There was talk that Nice could revive the move by exploring a curious ‘joker’ rule in Ligue 1, which allows each club to sign just one player outside of the transfer window, although nothing has materialised.
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He later wrote: “A part of the madness of deadline day. We’ve been screwed up, it happens even to one of the best ones. We’ve done an amazing market, planned and executed our targets at very early stage. Keep going.” Radrizzani and co eventually resorted to shifting their transfer plans forward by welcoming Italian teenager Wilfried Gnonto ahead of schedule.
It was thought that the Whites had agreed a cope with FC Zurich for the 18-year-old to reach at Elland Road in January but, within the absence of senior competition for Patrick Bamford up top, the club saw it fitting that he sign on deadline day as an alternative. Gnonto had a stellar youth profession with Inter Milan and has already racked up 4 senior caps for the Italian national team.
“I watched [Leeds] at home all the time with my dad and I feel that is an amazing club with an amazing mentality also,” Gnonto told LUTV. “The way in which they play is incredible and I can slot in well in my view. I feel that is an amazing club and I can not wait to see all of the fans and be at Elland Road hopefully soon.
“All of the Premier League is incredible. In fact I used to be very proud and my family too because Leeds United is an incredible club with an amazing history. Playing within the Premier League is something that I wanted, something that drove me to work much more and I can not wait to see all of the fans, I can not wait to play and help the team.”