Manchester City are reportedly monitoring the situation of Ousmane Diomande at Sporting as rumours grow of a winter transfer for the defender.
The 19-year-old has been turning heads with his displays for Verde e brancos since his January switch to Portugal. The talented youngster was on the books of Danish club Midtjylland but joined Portuguese outfit Mafra on loan for 2022-2023. He enjoyed 11 starts among 13 second-tier outings for the Estadio Municipal de Mafra side.
And the Ivory Coast international clearly impressed as Sporting swooped halfway through his loan stint.
They paid €7.5m, with Diomande inking a contract until the summer of 2027.
Once again, he made 11 starts and 13 starts, this time in the Primeira Liga as Sporting finished fourth in the table.
They qualified for the Europa League and the rangy centre-back has already made his mark in Europe’s second-tier competition.
He bagged a late winner as Sporting came from a goal down to beat Sturm Graz 2-1 earlier this week.
That came just four days after he had opened his season account with a goal in a 3-0 triumph over Moreirense.
His display against the Austrians will have further attracted the attention of some of Europe’s biggest clubs.
Arsenal have already been heavily linked to the commanding stopper.
Indeed they are said to have had a €35m bid rejected during the summer transfer window.
And it was recently reported by Record that the Gunners are preparing a €40m bid for January.
Whether that turns out to be the case only time will tell, but the north Londoners are not the only club on the case.
Man City have eyes on Diomande
Manchester City have made a superb start to 2023-2024, with a perfect record after six Premier League games.
Any notion of possible complacency after last season’s heroics has been swiftly dispelled.
The champions have scored 16 goals and conceded just three en route to the summit and look formidable for another title tilt.
However, it seems as though Pep Guardiola might want further help at the back.
The Spaniard saw Aymeric Laporte depart over the summer, bringing in Josko Gvardiol at the heart of defence.
But a report by A Bola suggests City have eyes on Diomande and had scouts in attendance during this week’s Europa League game.
The report adds that the Etihad outfit refuse to let the defender ‘out of their sight’.
It will be good news for Sporting, who inserted an €80m release clause into his contract.
They will make a huge profit on any sale of the centre-half, with West Ham United also said to be keen.
The Hammers brought in Konstantinos Mavropanos in the summer who made his Irons debut in the Europa League against Backa Topola.
It remains to be seen if David Moyes is still keen on Diomande. But links to City might see West Ham’s interest wane.