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Chelsea have held talks to sign Ousmane Diomande

Mauricio Pochettino

Chelsea have already held talks with Sporting CP over the signing of Ousmane Diomande, according to a report from Football London.

The Ivory Coast International has been a pivotal figure in Sporting’s backline since he arrived from FC Midtjylland last winter, featuring in 21 matches as Ruben Amorim’s side sit at the cusp of the Primeira Liga.

Chelsea have been exploring the transfer market for several centre-back options, with Diomande emerging as one of the options in the list. Football London reports that Chelsea made contact with Sporting last month in a bid to sign Diomande.

If a deal can’t be agreed, another option on their transfer list is OGC Nice defender Jean-Clair Todibo, having scouted the 24-year-old on several occasions this season.

Chelsea have also been keeping close tabs on one of their former players and current Crystal Palace captain, Marc Guehi, as they continue to monitor his progress and development.

Diomande has a contract at the Estádio José Alvalade that runs until June 2027, and it is reported that Sporting are insistent on his £69m release clause to be activated. Chelsea are reluctant to meet this fee as they try to negotiate a lesser price for the defender.

Release clause or no deal 

Within the expansive pool of central defenders at Chelsea, the futures of certain players remain uncertain. Trevoh Chalobah, a prominent figure in this mix, might find himself departing Stamford Bridge this month if a suitable offer materializes, a scenario that Chelsea are openly receptive to.

Thiago Silva faces an impending expiration of his contract at Stamford Bridge by the end of the season, and as of now, discussions regarding an extension for the 39-year-old have not been initiated. Hence, Chelsea’s move for a new defender.

Although Diomande is firmly on Chelsea’s radar, the January transfer window poses challenges in securing his signature, making a summer move a more plausible scenario.

Sporting, unwavering in their stance, insist on the payment of Diomande’s release clause or no deal. However, in the summer, negotiations could become more feasible for Chelsea, as Sporting would have additional time to explore replacements in the transfer market.

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