West Ham United and Crystal Palace are reportedly set to fight it out for 21-year-old Marseille forward Bamba Dieng.
According to RMC Sport, West Ham United and Crystal Palace have enquired about Marseille striker Bamba Dieng as the January transfer window draws to a close.
The 21-year-old got his first taste of senior football at Senegalese side Diambars FA de Saly before moving to Marseille in 2019. Dieng spent his first season in Europe with the Ligue 1 side’s reserve team before establishing himself in the first XI. Dieng has since made 26 appearances for the club, scoring five goals and assisting one more.
A centre-forward by trade, the Senegalese ace can also play on the wings if needed. Still just 21, he has a long way to go in his career and can emerge as a leading star in the years to come. Currently, at the Africa Cup of Nations, Dieng’s performances have earned him an admiring fanbase in England.
Despite attracting attention from several teams, West Ham and Palace have made the first move. Marseille, for their part, are open to selling the player for a mere €10 million in the coming days. With the winter transfer window set to slam shut on Monday, it is now a race against time for the deal to be finalized.
While no concrete offer has been made yet, Marseille appear to be preparing themselves for the player’s potential departure. Udinese ace Gerard Deulofeu is seen as a possible replacement should Dieng leave. However, the Serie A outfit does not appear keen to part ways with the Spanish forward. Whether this will have a trickle-down effect on the Ligue 1 club’s stance on Dieng remains to be seen.
Both Crystal Palace and West Ham could do with a striker this month. Both sides have impressed this season and could take the next step in their evolution by signing a reliable goalscorer. Crystal Palace lack an out and out first-choice striker, and the lack of a clinical figurehead was visible in their last match against Liverpool.
West Ham, meanwhile, are heavily dependent on Michail Antonio upfront. Securing Dieng will hand David Moyes an alternative to Antonio while also giving him another winger who can do a job on the left. Adding him to a roster containing Said Benrahma and Jarrod Bowen, among others, will give the Hammers excellent strength in depth.
Relegation-threatened Newcastle United and Burnley are also in the fray for the Senegalese ace. The former have already signed Chris Wood and could do with another dependable scorer. Burnley, meanwhile, will also be keen to compensate for Wood’s loss by bringing in an able replacement.
With time running out, a move has to be made soon for any interested party to land their man. Just who is the quickest out of the clock and what Dieng decides to do remains to be seen. With the 21-year-old still at the Africa Cup of Nations, signing a deal in the coming days might prove difficult.
In Sadio Mane and Ismaila Sarr, Senegal have been well represented in the Premier League of late. Whether Dieng will soon join that list of illustrious names by signing for Crystal Palace, West Ham or another suitor will be interesting to see.