Arsenal have guaranteed to return for Ousmane Diomande, €35m bid previously made

Arsenal have guaranteed to return for highly-rated Sporting Lisbon defender Ousmane Diomande next year, according to Portuguese publication Record (page 19).

The Gunners were first linked with the 19-year-old in January last year. They were fancied to sign him from FC Midtjylland, but he ended up joining Sporting instead.

Diomande went on to star for the Portuguese outfit in their round of 16 win over the Gunners in the Europa League and Record claim that they are determined to land him.

The north London giants failed to convince Sporting with a €35m bid over the summer, but they have ‘guaranteed’ to return for his services at the turn of the year.

It is unclear whether they will move for the centre-back in January, but Sporting prefer to keep him until the summer unless the €80m release clause in his contract is triggered.

Diomande would be a top-notch signing for Arsenal

The Ivorian has been a revelation since his move to the Portuguese top-flight. This season, he has averaged 62 passes per game with an accuracy of more than 90 per cent.

Diomande has won 1.7 tackles and five duels per outing with 5.7 ball recoveries. He possesses a strong aerial presence but can also get out of tight situations with his dribbling skills.

At just 19, he has all the attributes to become an elite centre-back. He prefers to play on the right hand side of central defence which is currently occupied by William Saliba at Arsenal.

Gunners boss Mikel Arteta is unlikely to displace the Frenchman from the line-up and Diomande could be seen as someone, who could develop in the left centre-back role in future.

Arsenal don’t desperately need to reinforce their heart of the defence at the moment and we believe the club could wait until the summer before making a huge outlay on Diomande.

One of Gabriel Magalhaes or Jakub Kiwior could head for the exit door to compensate for his arrival. It could be the former if he is discontent with limited minutes going forward.

Stats from Transfermarkt.com & Sofascore.com

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