Arsenal have been handed a boost in signing Sporting Lisbon defender Ousmane Diomande this summer as Chelsea can’t afford his signature at the moment.
The 20-year-old is one of the best emerging centre-backs in world football and the Gunners have been interested in landing his signature for some time.
They were beaten to his services by Sporting last winter, but the north London club made another attempt to land him last summer without success.
The Gunners made an offer of €35 million for the Ivorian star but Sporting were clear that they would not accept anything less than his €80m release clause.
Their stance remains unchanged this month and this could be good news for the Gunners as they are anticipated to return for him at the end of the season.
London rivals Chelsea have tried to negotiate a long-term payment deal for Diomande, but Sporting want his buy-out clause to be triggered for a winter transfer.
As a result, the Blues have decided to halt their pursuit until the summer (as per O Jogo) which is a boost for Arsenal who are likely to spend big again in the off-season.
Arsenal should beat Chelsea to Diomande deal this summer
Diomande only joined Sporting 12 months ago, but he has already established himself as one of the best central defenders in the Portuguese top-flight.
Him and Goncalo Inacio have made big progress with Sporting in the current campaign and the duo are anticipated to head for the exit door this summer.
Diomande would be a quality signing to provide competition to William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes.
Arsenal already have Jurrien Timber in their ranks. Adding Diomande to the squad would provide manager Mikel Arteta with the option to rotate his centre-backs without a drop in quality.
Diomande has been fantastic for Sporting this season with a passing accuracy of 91 per cent. He has won nearly five duels per game alongside 5.7 ball recoveries.
He has been dominant aerially with 72 per cent of his challenges won and also has the ability to get out of tight spaces with a dribbling success rate of 73 per cent this term.
The former Midtjylland youngster would be a shrewd piece of business for Arsenal this summer.
If the Gunners are back in the Champions League, they could easily convince Diomande to choose them over the Blues, who look set to miss out on the elite competition.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com & Sofascore.com