‘Very Soon’ – Report Claims Arsenal Are Lining Up Bold Move To Secure Services Of £68M Rated Defender

Arsenal are expected to make a formal approach to sign Sporting Lisbon defender Ousmane Diomande “very soon”, according to O Jogo.

The Portuguese publication claims that the Ivorian international is one of the “priority targets” for the Gunners ahead of the summer transfer window.

Mikel Arteta’s side do have competition from the likes of Chelsea and Bayern Munich for Diomande, but it is believed that they will look to head off interest from rivals by making an early move for the player.

O Jogo report that the London club have already made contact with the centre-back’s representatives, with discussions having started a few months ago.

For that reason, it is said that Arsenal are confident that they can win the race to snap up Diomande at the end of the season.

The defender has been on Arsenal’s radar for a very long time

Diomande first came to the Gunners’ attention when he impressed in a UEFA Youth League game for FC Midtjylland against Benfica. They then kept tabs on his progress when he joined Portuguese side Mafra on loan.

However, Sporting were the team that decided to go ahead and sign Diomande from Midtjylland for €7.5m in January last year and he has continued to make waves during his time with the Portuguese league leaders.

Diomande will cost a sizeable sum

Despite Sporting spending a modest fee on the Ivorian 15 months ago, they are now expected to hold out for a figure which is over 10 times what they originally paid for him.

Diomande has a release clause which is worth €80m (£68m) in his contract and it is said that Sporting have set an asking price that is very close to that amount.

However, it does seem like they won’t need the buyout fee to be paid in full upfront, which will be good news for the Gunners who will want to pay in instalments due to FFP.

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.