Sheffield United set to offer their new manager the chance to terminate Ismaila Coulibaly’s loan

Sheffield United will offer their next manager the chance to terminate Ismaila Coulibaly’s loan with sister club Beerschot and work with the midfielder at Bramall Lane.

Friday, 19th March 2021, 8:15 am

Coulibaly, a Mali under-20 international, is scheduled to spend the next two seasons in Belgium after being dispatched to the Olympisch Stadion on a three year placement following his move to England in September.

Although United’s hierarchy are happy for Coulibaly to continue his development in the Jupiler Pro League, they did ask Chris Wilder if he wanted to end that agreement early and integrate the 20-year-old into his own squad before the January transfer window.

Wilder, whose reign in South Yorkshire came to an end on Saturday, elected not to accept that invitation. But the same proposal is likely to be tabled when his successor is unveiled - either later this term or during the summer, when United are expected to be preparing for a return to the Championship following a chaotic Premier League campaign.

Sign up to our Sheffield United newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Beerschot's Isamaila Cheikh Coulibaly celebrates with teammates after scoring during a soccer match between KV Mechelen and Beerschot: KRISTOF VAN ACCOM/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images

In FA Cup action against Chelsea this weekend, they are 14 points adrift of safety with only nine matches remaining.

Speaking in December, Steve Bettis, United’s chief executive, confirmed the existence of a recall clause in Coulibaly’s deal with Beerschot when he acknowledged Wilder had been asked if he wanted to bring the youngster to South Yorkshire.

“To put it bluntly,” Bettis said. “If Chris says he wants him then he’s on the next plane back to England.”

Previously of Norwegian outfit Sarpsborg 08, Coulibaly made a flying start to his career with Beerschot; scoring five goals in his first 12 appearances, including one on his debut against Gent.

Sheffield United's chief executive Steve Bettis: Scott Merrylees

That followed a run of four in his final 14 outings in Norway, where he moved in January 2019.

However, Coulibaly has started three of Beerschot’s last four matches on the bench as their new head coach William Still looks to secure a top six finish.

George Broadbent, a graduate of United’s Steelphalt Academy youth programme, joined Still’s side on loan earlier this term but has so far made only two outings since leaving England. The last of those came during February’s defeat by Mechelen.when he replaced Loris Brogno during the closing stages of the contest.

An important message: Thank you for reading this article, one of dozens we publish every single day to provide you with the best, most up-to-date and most informative coverage of YOUR club. This depth of coverage costs, so to help us maintain the high-quality reporting that you are used to from the football team at The Star, please consider taking out a subscription to our new discounted sports-only package. You'll find all the details at https://www.thestar.co.uk/subscriptions/sports. Your support is much appreciated.

Beerschot's Isamaila Cheikh Coulibaly celebrates after scoring during the match between Beerschot VA and KAA Gent: JOHAN EYCKENS/BELGA MAG/AFP via Getty Images