Everton boss drops hint over failed big-money bid for Sheffield United’s Iliman Ndiaye

Everton saw Iliman Ndiaye as a player capable of adapting instantly to the Premier League and aiding their bid for survival, boss Sean Dyche has suggested, after the top-flight strugglers saw a big-money bid rejected by Sheffield United late in the January transfer window.
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As The Star revealed on deadline day, United turned down an offer of £25m plus add-ons for Ndiaye from Everton, despite being placed under a transfer embargo by the EFL over non-payment of outstanding transfer funds.

The Senegal international remained at Bramall Lane beyond the deadline and Dyche, when asked about his side’s failure to sign a forward in the closing stages of the window, dropped the clearest hint yet that the Toffees saw Ndiaye as a player capable of stepping up to the top-flight instantly.

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“I sat here all day and night [of deadline day] with all the relevant people doing all they could,” Dyche said. “The one thing I would say, how many strikers are out there and how many are Premier League ready?

“In the current moment we’re not looking for development players, we have that in [Ellis Simms], learning his trade. You’re looking for people who can affect it straightaway and that’s not an easy market, for anybody.

“So you have to be honest about the marketplace and your place in it. There were hours people spent and phone calls, searching and trawling and looking at possibilities that can benefit the group.

Iliman Ndiaye of Sheffield United (Michael Regan/Getty Images)Iliman Ndiaye of Sheffield United (Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Iliman Ndiaye of Sheffield United (Michael Regan/Getty Images)

“And we had the group in mind as well, the quality already here. People worked hard to get deals done with certain situations. Sometimes it’s just simple alignment. It’s not always just about money.

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“With certain players at certain clubs, everything has to align and it’s not an easy situation.”

Speculation about Ndiaye’s future began to ramp up after the French-born forward represented Senegal at the World Cup late last year, after a superb start to the season in United colours.

With his contract set to expire next summer, clubs will continue to circle around Bramall Lane – with United keen to hold on to their prized asset for as long as possible, hopefully having seen them over the line in the race for the Premier League this season.

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