Everton face battle to convince Sheffield United transfer target

Iliman Ndiaye, the Sheffield United attacker, held talks with officials from Everton in January as uncertainty continues to surround his situation in South Yorkshire.
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The Star understands that Ndiaye and his representatives were granted permission, although not in the guise of a formal directive from United’s board of directors, to explore the possibility of a move to Goodison Park in January when the club was prohibited from buying players.

However, Ndiaye’s refusal to agree a deal with the Liverpudlians indicates that they will struggle to persuade him to join them this summer. Barring a change of heart, the 23-year-old’s representatives do not view Everton as their preferred destination should their client leave United given the political upheaval there behind the scenes.

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Although he did not explicitly say so at the time, Heckingbottom was aware that Ndiaye had been allowed to examine the proposal which had been tabled by Shaun Dyche’s employers. It explains why, as he fought to retain the Senegal international’s services at a critical period of what would prove a promotion winning campaign, he spoke so passionately about Ndiaye’s importance to the United cause when news of Everton’s interest first broke.

Dyche continues to be linked with Ndiaye, who scored 15 goals in all competitions as Heckingbottom’s squad sealed their return to the Premier League. However, he faces a gargantuan fight to convince of the benefits of a switch to the North-West.

Ndiaye’s contract is set to expire next summer, with United being advised to offer him a new deal which contains both an increase in salary and release clause.