Chelsea eye move for Sporting CP defender Ousmane Diomande

Chelsea have been linked with a move for Sporting CP’s highly-rated defender Ousmane Diomande ahead of the January transfer window.

Ousmane Diomande

Ousmane Diomande, 20, has established himself as one of the best young central defenders in the Liga NOS since arriving at Sporting CP from FC Midtjylland in January. He has started every league game for Sporting CP so far this season, contributing a goal and an assist. The one-cap Ivory Coast international’s performances in a back three for the Portuguese outfit have not gone unnoticed, with several top European clubs vying for his signature.

Chelsea are among those clubs to have expressed an interest in Diomande. The Blues are reportedly set to scout Diomande and his Sporting CP teammate Viktor Gyokeres in action against FC Porto on Monday.

Chelsea eye defensive reinforcements in January

Chelsea have been far from ideal under Mauricio Pochettino and may look to spend in January, despite making so many changes to their squad during the Todd Boehly-Clearlake Capital era. Mauricio Pochettino’s side have struggled to break down opposition defences and score goals consistently. Furthermore, they have looked quite vulnerable defensively, which may prompt the club to go for a centre-back in January.

Ousmane Diomande looks like one of the finest young centre-backs in the game at the moment with the potential to become world class. Chelsea are understood to be keeping tabs on the Ivorian, who has been one of several exciting performers in Ruben Amorim’s Sporting CP side this season, along with Goncalo Inacio, Viktor Gyokeres and Marcus Edwards.

Many scouts from Europe’s elite clubs regard Diomande as one of the best players in this exciting Sporting side, and Chelsea are prioritising a young defender of his calibre to come in and potentially replace the ageing Thiago Silva. Wesley Fofana has been troubled with injuries since arriving at the club in 2022 while Benoit Badiashile has yet to prove himself.

There is no doubt that Diomande has the mix of technical and physical attributes to play for any club in the Premier League, and he would certainly improve Chelsea. The 20-year-old could prove to be an excellent long-term solution to the Pensioners’ defence.

However, Sporting would only let the defender go in the winter transfer window in case his €80m release clause is triggered. So, it remains to be seen if Pochettino pressurises Chelsea to splash the cash and trigger the release clause in Diomande’s contract.

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