One of the revelations of the season for Marseille under Jorge Sampaoli, Bamba Dieng caught the eye of more than one scout during the first half of the campaign.
A handful of Premier League clubs took notice, among which could be found Newcastle United, who were said at one point to be ‘very hot’ on the trail of the Senegal international.
Capable of playing through the middle or on the wing, the 22-year-old has four goals and one assist in 26 games this season for Marseille, where he isn’t necessarily a regular starter but a player the Argentine manager counts on.
Newcastle never seemed to make a bid for the forward, focusing on Hugo Ekitike instead, but the fact the Ligue 1 side were rather happy at clubs taking an interest in their player didn’t go down too well with Dieng himself.
This is according to French journalist Florent Germain on RMC Sport’s podcast After Marseille, relayed by Foot Sur7.
He said: “I even know that Dieng was vexed that Marseille tried to sell him during the winter transfer market. It’s more complicated for him.”
Turkish sides were also snooping around late on, with Germain pointing out the French club tried until the ‘very last moment’ to sell Dieng, which ‘played on his morale’.
As for Newcastle, they never got the second striker they wanted after Chris Wood, focusing on the defence instead, with Matt Targett, Kieran Trippier and Dan Burn arriving alongside Bruno Guimarães in January.