Chelsea ‘On Top’ In Battle With Arsenal And Newcastle For 20 Year Old Defender As They ‘Promise’ To Pay £51M

Chelsea are currently “on top” in the race to secure the services of Sporting Lisbon defender Ousmane Diomande, according to Record.

The Portuguese tabloid claim that the Blues have already been in contact with the Ivorian international’s representatives ahead of a potential bid this summer.

Diomande does have an €80m (£68m) release clause in his contract but it is believed that Mauricio Pochettino’s side are not expected to pay the full amount up front.

Record claim that they will “promise” to offer at least €60m (£51m) but Sporting are hoping to receive the other €20m (£17m) in performance-related add-ons.

Chelsea are expected to be in the market for a centre-half

Thiago Silva is set to leave Stamford Bridge at the end of the season. Respected journalists have already suggested that the 39-year-old will not sign a contract extension with his current deal expiring in June.

It is also possible that Trevoh Chalobah will be offloaded with the Blues keen to raise profit from the sale of homegrown players. Their departures would leave room for reinforcements in the middle of defence.

From the looks of things, the recruitment department have identified Diomande as their no.1 choice. He is a highly-rated young defender, and he would fit the profile that the club usually go after. However, his lack of experience will raise concerns, especially as he could potentially be replacing someone like Silva.

There are 3 other clubs interested in signing Diomande

Arsenal, Newcastle and Juventus are reportedly keen on snapping up the centre-back as well but Chelsea are said to be ahead of their rivals in negotiations, having already begun talks with the player.

Of course, a lot could still happen between now and the summer but it appears as if the Blues are trying to get some of their transfer business out of the way early.

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.