Arsenal want Sporting star Ousmane Diomande, prime candidates to sign him

Arsenal are leading Chelsea and Bayern Munich in the race to sign Sporting Lisbon defender Ousmane Diomande, according to Portuguese publication O Jogo.

The Gunners are long-term admirers of the 20-year-old centre-back and they were initially interested in signing him when he was playing for FC Midtjylland.

It is now reported by O Jogo that the Gunners are prepared to ‘attack’ for the centre-back, who is expected to leave Sporting during the summer.

Chelsea and Bayern have also been linked, but Arsenal are the prime candidates to sign Diomande. Sporting are aware of their interest for some time.

The Gunners are prepared to take steps to secure his services ‘very soon’. There have already been ‘contacts’ between the parties ‘especially since January’.

Sporting are willing to sell Diomande for a fee close to his €80 million (£68m) release clause.

Arsenal could bolster defence further this summer

William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes are currently the undisputed starters in central defence, but manager Mikel Arteta may want to strengthen his options further.

Jakub Kiwior is the immediate back-up, but he has been unconvincing at the heart of the backline.

Meanwhile, Ben White and Takehiro Tomiyasu are full-backs under Arteta while Jurrien Timber has yet to impress, having sustained a serious knee injury in August last year.

In our view, the hierarchy may not want to rest on their laurels. Bringing Diomande would be a huge statement and would emphasise that no player can take his place for granted.

The Ivorian star would be a fine acquisition for Arsenal. He is strong with the ball at his feet and has also excelled with his defensive contributions since his move to Sporting.

Diomande averages 62 passes per game with an accuracy of 92 per cent. He has won 66 per cent of his duels per outing this term with 1.5 tackles and 1.4 clearances.

It appears a no-brainer to sign him for the Gunners. The asking price is on the higher side for Diomande, but he has the potential to become an elite central defender.

Stats from Sofascore.com

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