“We’ll see what we can negotiate” – Director open about desire to sign Sheffield United player, permanent basis or loan – Sport Witness

AIK are hopeful they can keep Sheffield United midfielder Ismaila Coulibaly for longer.

That’s now been said publicly by club director Thomas Berntsen, who’s today quoted by Fotboll Skanalen talking about his side’s transfer business.

AIK only have Coulibaly on loan from Sheffield United until July, and they’re hopeful they can stay with him for the rest of the Swedish season at least.

“We haven’t opened the dialogue with Sheffield United yet. He’s going out on loan for the whole of July first. So there are a few games left. We’re starting to see what he can do,” said Berntsen.

“He had been out for a long time before he came here but now he’s starting to get into good shape. We hope he stays here for the whole season. We have a good dialogue with Sheffield and we’ll see what we can negotiate, if it’s possible to keep him longer.

“Sheffield is on a different planet than us. But now there is only one year left on his contract there so we hope we can work something out. We are positive both about having Ismael on loan for the rest of the year and also about releasing him from his contract there and getting him on a long contract here.”The director was even asked whether he prefers a loan or a permanent deal, and whilst it seems obvious a loan would be better for the club’s finances, he didn’t rule a permanent transfer out.

“It depends a bit. If we’re going to buy him off, we’ll probably have to sell some other players to afford it. We’ll see what happens with players out. AIK has given notice that we have to sell players this summer. But there is no player here who has a buyout clause. So if we are going to sell players, it will be at the price we think is right. Otherwise, there will be no sales. We have an ambition to be at least as strong in terms of sport this autumn.”

Coulibaly, who was having very little playing time at Sheffield United, arrived at AIK at the start of February. Now with ten appearances for the club, which includes two goals and one assist, he’s been managing to have quite a few starts there, and seems to be adapting well.

The midfielder is currently valued by Transfermarkt at €900k, and it remains to be seen how much the Blades would like to make with a potential sale. Perhaps extending his loan and letting him prove himself for the rest of the Swedish season would be a good way to get a better deal in the future. Since he’s still 23, he still has a lot of room to improve at his new club.

AIK’s big dream would obviously be Sheffield United just releasing the player, and maybe there’s something to be negotiated there with a percentage of a future sale key back.

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