Chelsea have been keeping a watchful eye on Sporting Lisbon defender Ousmane Diomande, according to Record.
The Portuguese tabloid claim that a Blues scout was in the stands when the centre-back played for Ivory Coast against Morocco in a friendly on Saturday night.
Diomande only moved to Sporting from FC Midtjylland last January for £11m and he has an €80m (£69m) release clause in his contract.
Due to the amount of interest being shown in the 19-year-old, Chelsea may well have to pay a significant fee if they decide to firm up their interest in the player.
Diomande has been tracked by a Premier League rival
Even before he joined Sporting, Arsenal had been linked with the teenager and the Gunners are still said to be monitoring his progress.
There were even reports that Mikel Arteta’s side had tabled a £30m bid for Diomande, although those claims were not substantiated.
In fact, the Ivorian international’s agent Luis Cassiano Neves has actually talked about possibly extending his contract at Sporting. Speaking last month, he said:
“[Diomande] is extremely satisfied at Sporting He is very focused on the club and their objectives for this season, which include winning the league title. And he knows that Sporting is the ideal club for this evolution. He will be happy to sit at the table with Sporting.”
Why are Chelsea interested in Diomande?
Considering that the Blues already have Thiago Silva, Axel Disasi, Levi Colwill, Trevoh Chalobah, Benoit Badiashile and Wesley Fofana as options at centre-half, it is surprising to see that they are scouting Diomande.
However, with Chalobah set to leave Stamford Bridge in January and Fofana expected to be out for the rest of the season, there could be room for another option in the middle of defence.