Sheffield United urged to take bold step with Everton & Tottenham target Iliman Ndiaye

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Sheffield United’s board of directors are set to be urged to accelerate talks with Iliman Ndiaye as Paul Heckingbottom, the newly promoted club’s manager, aims to prevent its preparations for the Premier League season being overshadowed by speculation about the attacker’s future.

With only a year remaining on his present contract, Ndiaye is expected to attract interest from both home and abroad following a breakthrough campaign in the Championship last term.

In order to prevent the youngster’s situation from becoming a distraction, Heckingbottom is understood to have proposed a compromise to United’s hierarchy during a meeting in Geneva, Switzerland, following their climb out of the second tier. That would involve Ndiaye being offered the chance to sign a fresh agreement, increasing his salary in the process, and committing to remain at Bramall Lane for a minimum of another 12 months whilst United would insert a release clause into the deal.

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However, as The Star revealed over the weekend, progress towards securing the futures of soon-to-be free agents such as Jack Robinson, Wes Foderingham and Ben Osborn is proving slow with a number of rival teams now monitoring the situation closely. Although all three would prefer to remain in situ, together with John Fleck who is known to boast admirers in his native Scotland, a number of rival teams are now known to be monitoring the situation closely.

Ndiaye interested Everton in January, with Heckingbottom’s aggressive petitioning of employers and the player’s reluctance to push through a move to Goodison Park eventually proving crucial. Now a regular for Senegal and having represented his country at the World Cup in Qatar, Ndiaye went on to become United’s joint-leading scorer as they returned to the top-flight with 15 goals. Tottenham Hotspur are also fans of the forward, whose ambition is to one day represent Marseille.

Sheffield United's Iliman Ndiaye in action for Senegal: David Klein / SportimageSheffield United's Iliman Ndiaye in action for Senegal: David Klein / Sportimage
Sheffield United's Iliman Ndiaye in action for Senegal: David Klein / Sportimage

As well as ensuring the core of his squad remains intact following the departures of Enda Stevens and captain Billy Sharp, Heckingbottom hopes to attract several new faces to South Yorkshire before United return to action in August.

Manchester City duo Tommy Doyle and James McAtee are confirmed targets, after spending last season on loan with United. Chelsea’s Carney Chukwuemeka is another while Silko Thomas, who was poised to join United earlier this year, has now ended his association with Stamford Bridge.