Marseille striker Bamba Dieng could end up at Southampton five months after a £10 million move to Premier League rivals Leeds United collapsed on transfer deadline day, according to the Daily Mail.
To think, the January window started oh-so promisingly for bottom-of-the-table Southampton. Mislav Orsic and Carlos ‘Charly’ Alcaraz arrived before the second week of the month but, since then, the closest the Saints have come to another new face is seeing Jan Bednarek return from a forgettable loan spell at Aston Villa.
Goal-shy Southampton set their sights on a new centre-forward after getting their mitts on Orsic and Alcaraz. But, after being priced out by Lorient for Terem Moffi, local rivals Bournemouth appear to have snatched Nicolas Jackson from under Nathan Jones’ nose.
Jackson, The Athletic say, is on his way to the Vitality Stadium from Villarreal for around £20 million.
Reading between the lines, then, it’s no stretch to suggest that Senegal international Bamba Dieng was not one of Southampton’s leading January targets. The Saints appear to have turned to the Marseille benchwarmer only after seeing Moffi and Jackson move out of reach.
Though that does not mean Dieng, who scored for Senegal at the Qatar World Cup, cannot still be a useful addition to a team who drew a blank yet again during Tuesday’s 1-0 EFL Cup semi-final first leg defeat to Newcastle United.
Southampton join Everton in race to sign Bamba Dieng from French giants Marseille
“I really like this player,” Premier League legend and Champions League winner Didier Drogba told the BBC after Dieng found the net with a typically emphatic finish in Qatar.
“He has a lot of explosiveness and a good quality of shot. He is a player with great potential,” adds former Marseille coach Jorge Sampaoli.
Dieng scored eight goals for L’OM in 2021/22, including a thumping long-range finish during the UEFA Conference League semi-final against Feyenoord. With his contract expiring in 2024, Marseille could sell for a cut-price £10 million (Sky Sports).
Leeds agreed a fee for Dieng on the final day of the summer window; the 22-year-old jilting Jesse Marsch at the altar after realising that his heart belonged to Nice instead. Ironically enough, Dieng then failed his medical at Nice, returning to Marseille with his tail tucked firmly between his legs.
Five months on, FootMercato say that Dieng would welcome a move to England. Southampton will face competition from an Everton side snubbed by Moussa Dembele and the Tottenham-bound Arnaut Danjuma following Frank Lampard’s sacking on Monday.