Arsenal have already approached to sign Sporting Lisbon star Ousmane Diomande

Arsenal have already approached to sign Sporting Lisbon defender Ousmane Diomande, according to Portuguese outlet O Jogo (page 16).

The Ivory Coast international was on the radar of the Gunners during his time at Midtjylland but they were beaten to his signature by Sporting last winter.

The club have continued to monitor his progress closely and it is reported that they have already approached to sign the centre-back next year.

O Jogo claim that Sporting are only ‘a stepping stone’ for Diomande and a summer departure is a likely scenario for the highly-rated defender.

Aside from Arsenal, Manchester City are contenders to land the Ivorian. Sporting may not anything accept less than his €80 million release clause.

Diomande would be an outstanding acquisition

The teenager has made a huge mark since his move to Portugal with Sporting. This season, he has completed 62 passes per game with an accuracy of 90 per cent.

He averages 1.7 tackles and 1.6 clearances alongside 5.7 recoveries. He has also excelled in contesting duels and has won 70 per cent of his aerial challenges this term.

At just 19, the Ivorian has shown that he has the attributes to succeed in the Premier League. He would be an outstanding signing for Arsenal but won’t come on the cheap.

If the club were to purchase him, questions could be raised over the future of Gabriel Magalhaes, who was the subject of interest from Saudi Arabia over the summer.

Declan Rice, Kai Havertz and David Raya have been regular starters since their summer moves. It would have been the same for Jurrien Timber if not for his knee injury.

The Gunners are unlikely to make a huge outlay on Diomande unless manager Mikel Arteta is prepared to play him regularly in his starting line-up next season and beyond.

Stats from Transfermarkt.com & Sofascore.com

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