Premier League • England

Chelsea concerned as top target chooses Arsenal over London rivals; £69m transfer race heats up

Arsenal look set to beat Chelsea to Ousmane Diomande

Arsenal look set to beat Chelsea to Ousmane Diomande

TEAMtalk can exclusively reveal that Arsenal have received a boost in their pursuit of Sporting CP centre-back Ousmane Diomande, who is also a target for Chelsea. 

The 20-year-old is widely considered to be one of the best young defenders in Europe and he could be on the move this summer, although he’ll command a big fee.

We reported in early March that Chelsea had identified Diomande as one of their top targets for the summer as they look to bring in a long-term replacement for Thiago Silva.

Silva is set to depart Stamford Bridge at the end of the season when his contract expires. Fellow defender Trevoh Chalobah could also be sold as the Blues aim to balance the books after a period of huge spending.

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Diomande would be another big-money addition. He has a £69m release clause in his contract and Sporting are not willing to let him leave for any less.

However, it now seems that Arsenal have leapfrogged their London rivals in the race for the talented youngster.

Ousmane Diomande keen on joining Arsenal

TEAMtalk sources state that Diomande is excited by the prospect of joining Arsenal and that would be his preferred move this summer if the opportunity presents itself.

We understand that Arsenal are now in the driver’s seat in the race for the Sporting star’s signature.

Diomande broke into the Portuguese club’s first team in 2022 and has now established himself as one of their most important players.

He has made 32 appearances in all competitions this season, scoring two goals in the process, and has played a key role in Sporting’s title race.

They currently sit four points clear at the top of the Primera Liga having played one game less than closest rivals Benfica.

Mikel Arteta is keen on improving his centre-back options and wants to bring in more competition for formidable duo Gabriel Magalhaes and William Saliba.

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Diomande is keen to work with the Spanish coach and he could prove to be an excellent long-term investment for Arsenal.

It will be interesting to see if the Gunners are willing to match his £69m release clause this summer. If not, Chelsea or one of his many other suitors – such as Manchester United – could swoop in for his signature.