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Leeds United owner Radrizzani furious after ‘completed’ transfer of Senegal forward Dieng is hijacked

08:50 BST 02/09/2022
Amine Harit Bamba Dieng Marseille Montpellier Ligue 1 10042022
The Italian thought he had all but sealed the deal for the Teranga Lions striker only for him to change his mind minutes before flying to England

Leeds United owner Andrea Radrizzani has expressed his disgust at seeing what looked like a done deal to sign Senegal forward Bamba Dieng hijacked by another club, believed to be Ligue 1 side OGC Nice.

Leeds had seemingly agreed a fee with Marseille to bring the Senegalese to Elland Road on transfer deadline day and while the player was about to fly to England to complete his medical, Nice got in touch with his representatives.

Negotiations reportedly took place at the airport with Dieng’s agent negotiating with Nice, leading to the collapse of the deal that has now left Leeds and Radrizzani furious.

“Part of the madness of deadline day. We have been screwed up, it happens even to the best ones. We have done a great market, planned and executed our targets at very early stage. Keep going,” said a disappointed Radrizzani in response to a fan who enquired about the transfer on social media.

The response came just a few hours after the Leeds boss had confirmed signing the player through a social media post.

“Agreed. Let’s welcome Bamba Dieng and we will continue to work on [Cody] Gapko. Now it’s time to focus on the pitch and support our new project and the great job Jesse [Marsch] and the staff are doing.”

The saga left fans on social media bemused and amused at the same time.

“No centre forward or left back, do you see what us fans see or what?” a concerned fan @muzza22202 posed in reference to Radrizzani with @HantsCastiger replying: “Perhaps he listens to what Jesse Marsch wants, just a thought.”

“If you want radz [Radrizzani], I’ll dust off my old boots and come be the new number 9,” @_ollieward_

responded.

Some fans wondered why Leeds took so long to seal the transfer.

“Then why did you spend six weeks pretending to chase a player that only ever wanted to go to Inter [Milan]?” posed @DN22_White.

“Ever thought that a team which just avoided relegation on the final day might not be very attractive to decent players?” asked @Thefieryjack while @ellis_platten also posed: “Is letting our starting/first back up winger with no signing in return part of the strategy?”

“Nonsense. It’s embarrassing, unprofessional and makes Leeds Utd look disorganised and desperate,” a disappointed @AllLoveLeeds said.

He added: “What kind of message does this send out to prospective players. That we can’t convince them/conclude deals? Why? Good, positive start to summer but failed to recruit all key positions.”

“Have we not learnt from last season that our squad depth isn't strong enough. [Jack] Harrison has been brilliant so far this season, but he was below par vs Everton,” said @gethbont.

“Would have liked to have seen Dan [James] come on for him. Especially as the right back was already on a yellow,” he added.

Leeds had reportedly agreed a €10 million fee for the 22-year-old striker who was set to sign a four-year contract for the Premier League outfit.

Dieng has spent two seasons at Marseille, scoring nine goals in 42 appearances, including seven and three assists in 25 league appearances in 2021-22, but only 11 of those were starts.