Arsenal likely to miss out on Sporting Lisbon defender Ousmane Diomande as Newcastle United plot January move following scouting mission

Newcastle United are eyeing a January move for Sporting Lisbon defender and Arsenal transfer target Ousmane Diomande, according to the Sun.

The Gunners offered £30 million for the services of the Ivory Coast international during the summer transfer window, but it was knocked back.

Arsenal were also keen on signing Diomande in January, but the 19-year-old moved to the Portuguese club from Danish side Midtjylland for £6.5m instead.

Sporting have since slapped a £70m release clause on his head, and Premier League moneybags Newcastle could look to activate in January given their defensive woes at the back.

They have already scouted him thrice this term, and manager Eddie Howe has been impressed with what he has seen so far.

Arsenal also want to bolster their squad during January, but another defensive midfielder is top of their plans following an injury to Thomas Partey.

The Gunners would also love to land a striker, and signing Diomande appears to be a plan for the summer.

The ball-playing 6ft 3in defender reportedly would be interested in a switch to the Premier League, and Arsenal could miss out on him if the Magpies decide to offer Sporting what they want in January.

£70m for a teenager who has played less than 40 games in a top league is steep, but Newcastle are desperately in need of reinforcements and could be ready to pay the fee.

While Jurrien Timber has been unavailable since matchday 1, the Gunners are not short of options at the back and are unlikely to sign a defender in January.

They also need to avoid breaking Financial Fair Play rules and cannot afford to splash the cash anytime soon without first making sales, so a move for Diomande is not on the cards right now from the look of things.

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