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Chelsea open talks to sign highly-rated Ousmane Diomande

Ousmane Diomande

Chelsea have opened talks over a potential deal to sign Ousmane Diomande from Sporting Lisbon this winter, as per the Evening Standard.

Ivorian defender Ousmane Diomande has been hugely impressive for Sporting Lisbon since joining the club from FC Midtjylland in 2022. The 20-year-old star has excelled this year for the Portuguese side and has helped them reach the top of the league standings this season.

Chelsea are in search of a new central defender, with an injury possibly ruling Wesley Fofana out for the entirety of the season, and Thiago Silva nearing the end of his professional career.

The Blues are also looking to move on Trevoh Chalobah, who is seemingly not in the plans of manager Pochettino this season. This leaves summer signing Axel Disasi, as well as Benoit Badiashile and Levi Colwill as their options at centre-back.

Chelsea have now made enquiries to Sporting Lisbon about the conditions for signing the Diomande in January. According to the Evening Standard, the Ivorian has a release clause of £69m inserted into his contract and Lisbon won’t sell for anything less.

It’s unlikely that Chelsea will be able to negotiate a reduction on this fee due to clauses in his contract. FC Midtjylland inserted a 20% sell-on clause when they sold Diomande to Sporting Lisbon. This means that the Portuguese side will be entitled to only £55.2 million of his full release clause.

Ousmane Diomande – A rising star

Ousmane Diomande joined Sporting Lisbon only 12 months ago, but has quickly established himself at the club. The youngster moved to Lisbon in the January transfer window of 2023 and has become a key player, holding down a regular starting spot.

Diomande has featured in all 14 of his side’s league matches this season, scoring one goal and assisting another. He has also played in five UEFA Europa League matches for the club this season.

His exceptional development has carried him to international prominence, as he has played three times for the Ivorian national team already, and is likely to represent the Elephants at the AFCON next month.

Diomande has been looked at already by multiple sides in Europe, so Chelsea could face competition for his signature this winter.

The Blues are expected to be active in the January market and the report says they are also looking to bring in a striker with Viktor Gyokeres one of their key targets, so they could launch a double swoop on Lisbon.

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