Arsenal interested in signing Ousmane Diomande, Sporting braced for his exit

Sporting Lisbon are braced for the departure of defender Ousmane Diomande amid interest from elite European clubs including Arsenal, according to Record (page 10).

The 20-year-old was on the radar of the Gunners during the 2023 January transfer window, but Sporting won the race to sign him from Danish club Midtjylland.

He has since developed into one of the most sought-after young centre-backs. Arsenal failed to sign him for €35 million last summer, but they are fancied to make another approach.

Record claim that the interest in Diomande will intensify at the start of next year. Arsenal are keen admirers of the talented centre-back, but Chelsea and Real Madrid are also interested.

Sporting are braced for the departure of their prized asset next month. They are not actively looking to sell, but can’t stop him from leaving if his €80 million release clause is triggered.

Arsenal may not spend big on Diomande

Gunners manager Mikel Arteta is planning to spend during the January transfer window and it was claimed yesterday that Brentford striker Ivan Toney is the prime target.

The 27-year-old has the preference to join the club over Chelsea with the chance to win the league, but he won’t come on the cheap with Brentford set to demand £60m (€69m) up front.

On top of this, the north London giants are also exploring a new central midfielder. They are keeping a close watch on Everton star Amadou Onana ahead of the New Year.

The Belgian could cost around £50m (€58m) next month. In our view, the Gunners are likely to lean towards signing those two players ahead of Diomande this winter.

Arsenal are short in midfield at the moment with injuries to Thomas Partey, Jorginho and Mohamed Elneny. Declan Rice is the only fit defensive midfielder in the squad.

The trio could return soon but Partey and Elneny will be away on African Cup of Nations duty.

Hence, the Gunners need more quality and depth to deal with potential injuries.

As we said yesterday, Toney would be a top-notch signing with his shot conversion rate of 21 per cent compared to Gabriel Jesus’ 14 per cent and Eddie Nketiah’s 10 per cent last term.

We don’t see the possibility of Diomande arriving next month unless Arsenal recoup additional funds from player sales.

Stats from Transfermarkt.com & Sofascore.com

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