Sheffield United optimism grows over Iliman Ndiaye future amid Marseille links

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Optimism is growing around Sheffield United around the future of their star men Iliman Ndiaye, who was heavily linked with a summer move to his boyhood club Marseille earlier this week.

The Senegalese star is seen by many as key to any hopes United have of flourishing in the Premier League next season, after his exploits in a Blades shirt over the last two seasons earned him a reputation as one of the brighest young talents outside the top flight.

After helping United to promotion last season, many Blades fans feared they would not see the 23-year-old wearing their colours on the biggest stage after a number of high-profile journalists reported online that an agreement had been reached with Marseille.

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The Star’s coverage of Sheffield United’s pre-season trip to Portugal is brought to you in association with Vertical Editions, a Sheffield-based company producing fine sporting books. Check out their range of Blades titles, including Legends at the Lane, at

United, in fact, had not received any contact from the French club at the time, with doubts also persisting over whether they could afford to match the Blades’ valuation of their prized asset - especially when, as things stand, they could offer him a pre-contract agreement in January and secure him for nothing.

In a bid to avoid that scenario United recently offered Ndiaye an improved contract, which would drastically improve his salary level but also protect the Blades’ interests in a player whose transfer value has soared of late. Ndiaye is on duty with United at their pre-season camp in Portugal and is in good spirits, with increased optimism that he could remain at Bramall Lane for the new campaign.

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Ndiaye’s representatives could be minded to insist that a realistic buy-out clause is inserted into any new arrangement, which could also depend on United’s divisional status. Despite publicly acknowledging his love for Marseille, and his wish to one day represent them again after a short spell in their youth ranks, Ndiaye - whose wife recently gave birth to their second child - is also happy and settled in Sheffield.

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