Arsenal 'very interested' in agreeing deal for €80m star, first bid rejected - report


Arsenal are very interested in signing Sporting Lisbon defender Ousmane Diomande but could face competition from Chelsea and Newcastle United, according to Record (page 14).

The Gunners have been following the teenager for some period of time. They initially explored a deal when he was at Midtjylland, but Sporting won the race for his services last winter.

The north London giants made a €35 million bid to sign Diomande from Sporting last summer, but the Portuguese outfit were reluctant to part ways with the centre-back.

It is now reported that the Gunners remain ‘very interested’ in landing the wonderkid, but they are not alone with Chelsea and Newcastle also monitoring his performances.

Sporting are expected to hold out for his €80m release clause in January, but Record claim that the club may not resist his sale next summer as they aim for a financial boost.

The 19-year-old has been a revelation since his switch to Sporting from Midtjylland. This season, the centre-back has completed 62 passes per game with an accuracy of 90 per cent.

Defensively, he has won 1.7 tackles and five duels per game alongside 1.6 clearances. He has made close to six ball recoveries per outing and he should only get better with experience.

Arsenal were unable to prise him away on the cheap earlier this year and he will now cost a premium fee.

We simply don’t see the Gunners paying the buy-out clause. They may look to negotiate a package of around €50m for the Ivory Coast international come the end of the campaign.

With Chelsea & Newcastle keeping tabs, Arsenal need to be pro-active in the pursuit. This could be done by engaging with Diomande’s agents to convince the defender over a move.

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