Sheffield United: Ismaila Coulibaly decision immiment

Sheffield United’s coaching staff are expected to consult with their counterparts at the club’s umbrella organisation before deciding where Ismaila Coulibaly’s immediate future lies following Beerschot’s relegation to Belgium’s second tier.

Tuesday, 24th May 2022, 3:15 pm

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Sheffield United: Work permit issue leaves Ismaila Coulibaly at a crossroads

The midfielder, aged 21, moved to Antwerp on a three season long loan deal in 2020.

Coulibaly’s switch was one of the first tangible pieces of evidence about how the United World network, established by owner HRH Prince Abdullah bin Musa’ad bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, was expected to work with teams in France, India and the UAE also coming under its banner.

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Ismaila Coulibaly trains with Sheffield United earlier this year

Although Coulibaly was invited to train with United midway through last term, the fact Heckingbottom was non-committal about his immediate prospects in South Yorkshire suggested the youngster requires further experience before challenging for a first team place at Bramall Lane.

However, Beerschot’s slide out of the top flight following a chaotic campaign, coupled with post Brexit legislation, has presented both the player and his employers with a problem with Heckingbottom confirming Coulibaly will not qualify for a work permit in the UK if he remains at the Olympisch Stadion.

“If we want him, we’ll have to do it quick,” the United manager said, raising the possibility Coulibaly could be placed with a side elsewhere in Europe in order to circumnavigate the red tape.

Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom will be asked for his thoughts on the midfielder: Darren Staples / Sportimage

Heckingbottom is expected to be asked for his thoughts on how to best shape the next phase of Coulibaly’s career during one of his regular discussions with UW officials.

With his contract at United set to expire in two summers time, Coulibaly’s four year deal could shortly be renegotiated if UW want to keep him under their wing.