Liverpool have been scouting Sporting Lisbon defender Ousmane Diomande, according to the Liverpool Echo reporter Paul Gorst.
The journalist claims that he has spoken to sources that tell him the centre-back has been “looked at” by the Reds as a potential transfer target.
Diomande is currently playing for Ivory Coast at the African Cup of Nations and his impressive performances for both club and country have attracted a lot of attention.
One unnamed source told the Liverpool Echo that teams are lining up to buy the defender who could be sold by Sporting for “at least £100m”.
Diomande does have a release clause
While it seems that some already rate the 20-year-old at £100m, Sporting won’t be able to sell him for that price either in January or next summer.
Reports in the Portuguese media suggest that Diomande’s release clause is, in fact, €80m (£69m) and that is the fee that Liverpool will have to pay if they want to secure the Ivorian international’s services.
Liverpool will face fierce competition for the defender
The Reds are very much in the market for a new centre-half. Another journalist, Fabrizio Romano has suggested that the Merseyside club have been contacting agents in recent days to determine who could be available this month.
With Joel Matip sidelined for the rest of the season with an ACL injury, reinforcing the backline is a priority but there is a feeling that Liverpool will wait until the summer to make their move.
Diomande seems quite high on the list of targets, but the Reds will certainly not be the only team pursuing him. Arsenal, Chelsea and Newcastle have also been credited with an interest in the centre-back so he could well have a wealth of clubs to choose from when he decides to leave Sporting.