Sheffield Utd chief Bettis: Selling Ndiaye was right call

Sheffield United chief Stephen Bettis insists they were right to sell Iliman Ndiaye this summer.

The striker left for Olympique Marseille in a £20m deal.

“Maybe supporters won’t like my answer but I don’t have regret,” Bettis told The Star. “We got a player from Boreham Wood on a free, brought him through the ranks, gave him an opportunity, which he took, and we sold him for a lot of money.

“We have to accept that we’re not at the top of the tree and there are clubs more attractive than us. We have to accept we will lose players to bigger clubs and these challenges are going to come. We should be proud of what we achieved there. Not ashamed of it.

“We wanted to keep both players at the football club. The manager wanted them, the owner wanted them. We did everything to keep them. We worked tirelessly and did what we needed to from a contract and money perspective to keep Iliman. He decided that the pull of playing for Marseille in the Champions League was too big to turn down.

“We got an offer from Burnley about five weeks before we sold Sander, and we turned it down immediately. We told them our valuation and they said there was no way they were paying that. We’re not a club who can let a player of Sander’s or Iliman’s value leave on a free transfer so we have to manage it carefully.

“We spoke to Sander about a one-year extension because he didn’t want to do a long-term contract. And then four or five weeks later Burnley came to us and made a new offer which we refused again. We then got three or four offers until they met our valuation, and we accepted, because we felt it was the right thing for the club after Sander said he didn’t wish to sign an extension.”

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