Iliman Ndiaye: Talks with Sheffield United midfielder continue amid claims about his involvement last season
Sheffield United’s contract talks with Iliman Ndiaye are continuing, after it was claimed the on-going discussions were responsible for limiting the youngster’s first team opportunities towards the end of last season.
The Frenchman impressed on his first team debut at Leicester City in March, but failed to make another appearance as United slid towards relegation from the Premier League.
Sources with knowledge of the situation, despite not being employed by either United or Ndiaye’s representatives, have told The Star that some influential figures within the club made it clear they would prefer to see those whose long term futures were already mapped-out afforded opportunities.
Although no official instruction was issued, it underlines the importance of reaching a quick agreement with Ndiaye before Slavisa Jokanovic officially takes charge next month.
United are believed to have tabled an offer to the 21-year-old’s agent soon after his second-half cameo at the KP Stadium, despite the fact his present deal has another 12 months left to run.
As expected, that was rebutted before more detailed discussions took place. Those are continuing to take place behind the scenes, although United suspect Ndiaye could be instructed to wait and see how Jokanovic plans to develop the next stage of his career before accepting any future proposal.
With Sander Berge set to follow John Lundstram through the exit door before the 20210/22 Championship season gets underway, Ndiaye will have an opportunity to stake a claim for a prominent role in Jokanovic’s plans when pre-season training begins.
After being called-up by Scotland for Euro 2021, John Fleck will be granted extended leave by the Serb, meaning Ndiaye, who joined United from Boreham Wood two years ago, could be granted plenty of game time during United’s warm-up fixtures.
Paul Heckingbottom who was appointed caretaker manager when Chris Wilder parted company with United in March, urged the new regime not to stifle the development of players such as Ndiaye, Antwoine Hackford and Daniel Jebbison by “bringing in people ahead of them” during the summer transfer window.
"There will be new faces,” he said. “Of course there will be. But those have got to come straight in (to the first team). Not block those looking to come through.”