By George Overhill

1st Sep, 2022 | 4:42pm

The deal for Leeds United to sign Bamba Dieng from Marseille has been thrown into doubt by an 11th-hour hijack attempt from Nice, according to La Provence.

The double move for Dieng to arrive and Dan James to leave was all but sorted earlier on Thursday (1 September), with Fabrizio Romano giving both moves his famous “here we go” seal of approval, and Andrea Radrizzani even confirming agreement for the Senegalese attacker.

But a late, late development on deadline day may be set to scupper that as Nice have made a bid to sign the 22-year-old before the window shuts, and according to La Provence the Ligue 1 side would be the player’s preference.

The French publication suggests that the move is “no longer one twist away” from completion at Elland Road and the final outcome is now unclear.

They also report that it was only this morning that Dieng was close to a move to Lorient before the Whites took control of the situation, suggesting the same might now be happening again.

No way

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This is both unbelievable and almost too believable for Leeds fans who have been waiting on help at striker to arrive all summer.

The fact that it had gone all the way down to the final hours of the window on deadline day is crazy enough, and appears to have only been prompted by an injury to Rodrigo in the draw with Everton this week (30 August).

It appeared that it was a case of better late than never, and would also be a pretty good value deal at around €10million, especially considering the huge money they were willing to offer for Charles De Ketelaere.

If this one has been derailed at the very last turn then fans will be beginning to wonder if the club will ever actually sign a striker again.

Injury after injury to Patrick Bamford has robbed the Whites of a secure picture up front for a year, and that luck has since spread to Joe Gelhardt on a few occasions, and now even Rodrigo.

It looks like being a nervous final few hours for United supporters as they hope that this late hiccup can be successfully negotiated and they finally get their man.

In other Leeds United news, one of the club’s other targets at the position had his hopes of a move shut down by his manager.