Romano Provides Transfer Update Amid Claims That Arsenal Have Matched Chelsea’s £51M Offer For Player

Arsenal have not tabled a bid for Sporting Lisbon defender Ousmane Diomande, according to journalist Fabrizio Romano.

Portuguese tabloid Record had claimed that the Gunners had matched a €60m (£51m) offer from London rivals Chelsea but, writing in his Daily Briefing column, Romano said that to his knowledge there are no talks taking place:

“I think this story is coming out because Arsenal sent their scouts regularly to follow players in Portugal, like [Viktor] Gyokeres who’s one of the players they have been following for a long time.”

“On Diomande, however, I’m not aware of talks or negotiations yet; but there are really many clubs interested, so we’re absolutely far from a solution/negotiation or anything close or concrete yet.”

Why would Arsenal be interested in the defender?

Diomande has gained a lot of attention for his performances since he moved to Sporting in January last year. However, the Gunners were even linked with the Ivorian international before he joined his current team.

The London club were monitoring him whilst he was playing on loan in Portugal at Mafra. He was subsequently snapped up by Sporting from Danish side FC Midtjylland for €10m.

Diomande will cost a lot of money

The rumours that Arsenal and Chelsea are prepared to pay €60m (£51m) are not completely surprising, considering that the centre-back’s release clause is actually €80m (£69m).

Many believe that Sporting will hold out for the buyout fee. They are not desperate to sell him and they could raise plenty of funds from the sale of his teammate Viktor Gyokeres.

Considering the Gunners are not exactly short of options in the middle of the defence, you do also have to question whether he would be a priority target for manager Mikel Arteta anyway.

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David Tully

David Tully

David has worked as a football reporter for the last fifteen years. Having started as an intern at Snack Media, he then went on to become a freelancer, working on various different sites. At the start of 2023, he took up his current role as content writer for National World's Football News Network.