Liverpool Have Joined Arsenal And Chelsea In ‘Race’ For 20 Year Old With £68M Release Clause

Liverpool have entered the “race” to sign Sporting Lisbon defender Ousmane Diomande, according to O Jogo.

The Portuguese newspaper claims the list of interested clubs has “increased” with the Reds and Newcastle having joined the likes of Chelsea, Arsenal and Bayern Munich in pursuing the 20-year-old.

It is believed that the Reds were originally scouting Diomande’s teammate Goncalo Inacio but it appears they are now weighing up a bid for the Ivorian as well.

However, the centre-back won’t be available on the cheap. Sporting only signed him from FC Midtjylland in January last year and they included an €80m (£68m) release clause in his contract.

The Liga Portugal leaders are expected to demand that any club pay Diomande’s buyout fee upfront in full, with no room for manoeuvre in terms of instalments.

Liverpool are in the market for a centre-half

Respected journalist Fabrizio Romano has made it clear on more than one occasion that the Reds’ scouting department have been looking at options to strengthen the middle of defence.

With Joel Matip expected to leave Anfield when his contract expires in June, reinforcements will be needed at centre-back, with Diomande seemingly one of the options being considered.

The links to Amorim could make a move for Diomande more likely

With Xabi Alonso having ruled himself out from replacing Jurgen Klopp in the Reds dugout, the club will now be seeking alternatives.

Sporting boss Ruben Amorim is believed to be among the favourites for the job, along with Brighton head coach Roberto De Zerbi.

Considering Amorim likes to play three at the back, it would add even greater urgency to recruiting centre-halves if he is appointed manager. As he knows Diomande well already, it stands to reason that Liverpool would look at signing the Ivorian international.

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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.