Arsenal gate-crash Chelsea transfer with matching £51m bid for Primeira Liga ace

Sporting defender Ousmane Diomande

Arsenal have matched Chelsea's £51m bid for Ousmane Diomande

Arsenal have matched Chelsea’s £51m offer for a Sporting defender, while reports have clarified how much the Portuguese club will sell for as well as Chelsea’s likely response to the Gunners bid.

Arsenal are once again competing for the Premier League title and after squeezing past FC Porto on penalties, advanced to the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the first time since 2010.

The Gunners are a daunting opponent for any in world football right now and under the stewardship of manager Mikel Arteta and sporting director Edu, are on an upwards trajectory.

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The same cannot be said over at Stamford Bridge. Indeed, no club has spent more in the market than the Blues since Todd Boehly took charge. However, the club’s on-field results are yet to mirror their off-field ambition.

Nonetheless, the transfer market is a great equaliser and according to Portuguese outlet Record, the two London clubs have put matching proposals on the table for Sporting centre-back, Ousmane Diomande.

The 20-year-old cost just €10m (including add-ons) to sign from Danish club Midtjylland in the winter window of 2023.

The five-times capped Ivory Coast international quickly established himself in Sporting’s strongest eleven and has been a revelation this season especially.

Diomande was named the Primeira Liga’s defender of the month in September. His rock solid displays have helped push Ruben Amorim’s side to the top of the table where they currently lead Benfica by a point. Sporting also have a game in hand.

Diomande’s existing deal with Sporting contains a release clause worth €80m/£68.6m. However, the English clubs – who’ve both scouted Diomande in Portugal – believe a deal can be agreed for less.

Arsenal thunder in; Chelsea to raise the stakes?

A prior report from Record claimed Chelsea had proposed a £51m offer. But per the fresh update from the same source, Arsenal have thundered in with a £51m bid of their own.

From Sporting’s point of view, they reportedly intend to reject any offer below the release fee. Given Arsenal and Chelsea have sparked a bidding war, Sporting may yet receive the full €80m fee when all is said and done.

Indeed, TEAMtalk’s own sources confirmed back on March 8 that the Blues are inclined to trigger Diomande’s clause if it becomes clear that’s the only way to seal a deal.

The Blues are seeking a top class centre-back this summer to replace Thiago Silva. The legendary Brazilian will leave as a free agent and is expected to return to boyhood club Fluminense.

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However, Chelsea’s succession plans could be torpedoed by Arsenal who have seemingly entered the race for Diomande with a firm bid of their own.

Whether the Gunners are prepared to pay the full release clause remains to be seen.

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