Sheffield United manager Paul Heckingbottom has admitted he will not know if Iliman Ndiaye intends to extend his contract until after January.
Ndiaye, 22, joined United’s U-21 side on a free transfer in 2019 and has netted nine times and provided two assists in 20 Championship outings this season.
The France-born forward has forged a deadly attacking partnership with Oli McBurnie, with his current deal at Bramall Lane running till 2024.
Heckingbottom is keen to secure the long-term future of the young marksman, but believes it will not be until the turn of the year that he knows if Ndiaye would like to put pen to paper.
The Blades boss said: “Yes, I would have thought so (decision to be made after January), not going to do anything now with the World Cup.
“From my point of view, I would love for it to have been done, but it is not, so we will just have to wait and see.”
Ndiaye has received his first World Cup call-up after Senegal head coach Aliou Cissé included the Championship’s joint-leading goalscorer in his 26-man squad for the upcoming tournament in Qatar.
“Either way, it’s going to be in favour of the club. He (Ndiaye) is under contract with us,” Heckingbottom added.
“He will either be sold for big money or he signs a new contract. That is it, that is what is going to happen and it is the same with every player.
“My job, our job is to make sure our players are attracting attention, are sought-after and then my job is to try and protect the team and fight to keep them here.”
Ndiaye is one of two United first-team stars headed for the Qatar World Cup, alongside Wales’ Adam Davies. Heckingbottom is proud to see the Blades pair feature on the biggest stage in international football.
On Ndiaye receiving a call-up, the United manager said: “Yes, it would be a great story. I would love to see him perform in a World Cup the way he has been performing for us.
“It is a big thing and for us as a club, we have got to be proud we have got two lads going there.”
The World Cup is set to begin on 20 November.