Nottingham Forest recently discovered how much it will cost to sign Sheffield United star Iliman Ndiaye. However, it has emerged this afternoon that the player is now close to a move to Marseille.
According to The Athletic, Steve Cooper is a huge fan of the player but he could now be forced to move on from this one. Last season, he helped United win promotion back to the Premier League by scoring 15 goals and claiming 12 assists.
A number of clubs have been linked with the 23-year-old who typically operates in a central role. Marseille have now won the race to sign him though, with Fabrizio Romano confirming as much this afternoon.
Ndiaye starred in their promotion-winning campaign of last season. He was also brilliant the year previous when he struck up a wonderful relationship with Morgan Gibbs-White who was on loan at Bramall Lane.
His teammates have raved about him in the past. Chris Basham called him ‘outrageous’ in September 2022, stating that he’s an absolute nightmare to play against in training every day.
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Signing Ndiaye always looked like a non-starter from a Forest perspective. The player is thought to be valued at £30 million by the Blades and the Reds were never going to be paying that for another forward this summer.
Sheffield United valuation detered Forest from Ndiaye bid
This one would have been an exceptional signing for the Reds. Ndiaye is a class player and he was one of the very best in the Championship during the 2022/23 campaign.
However, this one didn’t look like the best deal for Forest at this stage. If Forest were to plunge £30 million on one player during this window, then it will almost certainly be for a defensive midfielder instead.
United will have been hoping that he’d sign a new contract. This now sees them lose their best player with just a fortnight to go until the season starts.
It’s no secret that Cooper is a huge fan of Ndiaye. He does seem to fit the profile of a player that Forest like to go for these days but this doesn’t feel like the wisest move right now.
Forest have missed their chance to sign the Ndiaye. He will now head to Ligue 1 with Marseille where he will rub shoulders with Renan Lodi and likely play Champions League football next season.