Chelsea Lining Up £68.3M Rated Ivorian Defender As Thiago Silva’s Successor

Chelsea have set their sights on signing Ousmane Diomande from Sporting Lisbon, according to O Jogo.

The Portuguese newspaper claims that the Ivorian international is being targeted as a potential replacement for Thiago Silva.

With the Chelsea defender’s contract set to expire at the end of the season, Diomande is said to be the main candidate to fill the void left by the Brazilian in the middle of defence.

The centre-back is one of three Sporting players that the Blues have looked at, along with Goncalo Inacio and Viktor Gyokeres but O Jogo report that the 20-year-old is the player that the London club have kept tabs on the longest.

Diomande won’t be available on the cheap

Sporting are believed to be holding out for the release clause in the centre-half’s contract, which currently stands at €80m (£68.3m).

O Jogo claim that Chelsea have already told Sporting that they are “not willing to pay that much” for Diomande so a compromise may need to be found for a deal to go ahead at the end of the season.

Silva’s future at Chelsea

The fact that the Blues are actively looking at replacements for the Brazilian veteran suggests the club already know that he won’t be signing an extension to his current deal. When asked about the player’s future at a press conference earlier this week, manager Mauricio Pochettino remained tightlipped:

“We didn’t talk about the next season. Because I didn’t hear, I don’t know what I can say about that. Only he knows and the club if it’s going to be his last season or not.”

“I think always we talk about the present. It’s important for him to keep fit. With his age, he’s doing fantastic. We are so happy with him. What is going to happen in the future, that’s for him.”

David Tully

David Tully

David has worked as a football reporter for the last fifteen years. Having started as an intern at Snack Media, he then went on to become a freelancer, working on various different sites. At the start of 2023, he took up his current role as content writer for National World's Football News Network.