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Chelsea and Arsenal battle for Ousmane Diomande

Arsenal face a battle to sign Ousmane Diomande after Chelsea stepped-up their interest in the highly-rated Sporting Lisbon defender, as per a report from Record (printed edition, page 14).

Portuguese clubs are known for producing top talents, and Diomande seems to be the latest promising young star to emerge at Sporting Lisbon.

The 19-year-old plays as centre-back for Sporting and is already a senior international with the Ivory Coast as well. He has made eight appearances in Liga Portugal this season, scoring once and providing one assist.

Arsenal are long-term admirers of Diomande and they reportedly had a bid in the region of £30m rejected for in the summer transfer window.

It looks like the Gunners now face stiff competition as Record claims that Chelsea have joined Arsenal in the race to sign Diomande ahead of the January transfer window.

The report says the Blues stepped-up their interest after sending scouts to watch him in action for Ivory Coast against Morocco recently.

Diomande has a contract at Sporting until 2027 and it includes a release clause worth around £70m, as per Record, so any potential deal wouldn’t be cheap. Sporting are hoping to agree a new deal with the defender but his release clause is unlikely to be increased.

Wait and see

In the past, Chelsea have spent recklessly on unproven talents and they have paid the price for it. While Diomande appears to be a cracking young player, it would be madness to pay a ridiculous transfer fee for his signature.

The Portuguese clubs usually include a massive release clause in order to prevent the players from leaving cheaply. However, both Arsenal and Chelsea shouldn’t over pay to sign Diomande if they opt to formalise their interest.

Obviously, adding young talents to the squad is always a healthy sign, but the club must be very cautious with their approach. Sporting see Diomande as a player for the future, which means they aren’t going to sell him now unless the price is too tempting for them to refuse.

Chelsea and Arsenal should continue to monitor his progress for the rest of the season as he looks an excellent prospect. But, any potential bid should come next summer if they are absolutely convinced about his potential.

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