Chelsea has reportedly taken the lead in the race to acquire 19-year-old defender Ousmane Diomande, with Arsenal and Manchester City also expressing interest. According to Fichajes, Mauricio Pochettino may encourage Chelsea to make a move for Ousmane Diomande and outmaneuver their rivals in the pursuit of the young defender. Diomande, who hails from Sporting CP, has made a strong impression during his brief stint at the Portuguese club, and both Arsenal and Manchester City are also eager to secure his services.

Sporting CP took a calculated risk last January when they signed Ousmane Diomande from Danish side FC Midtjylland for a modest fee of €7.5 million. The gamble has paid off handsomely, as the 19-year-old has made a significant impact in just 24 games with the club.

After his notable performances against Arsenal in the previous season’s Europa League, the Gunners have demonstrated their interest. Some reports even suggested that Arsenal submitted a €35 million offer in the summer, but Sporting CP promptly rejected it.

Arsenal continues to be interested in Diomande, and manager Mikel Arteta is particularly enthusiastic about adding the versatile 19-year-old Ivorian to his squad. His ability to play in various defensive positions makes him an appealing target, aligning with Arteta’s desire to bring such versatile players into his team.

Manchester City is prepared to challenge Arsenal in the pursuit of Diomande, as manager Pep Guardiola is keen on acquiring a young defender. The Sporting sensation could potentially replace Kyle Walker in the long term, given his adaptability to different defensive roles within the club’s systems.

Competing with these two giants is Chelsea, who view Diomande as a potential successor to Thiago Silva in their defensive line. Despite considerable spending on new defenders in the last 18 months, Chelsea is interested in adding the 19-year-old to their ongoing project.

Reportedly, Mauricio Pochettino has expressed his admiration for the player and urged Chelsea to secure a deal in the upcoming transfer window or around the summer. Chelsea has recently scouted Diomande and found his profile appealing, enhancing the prospects of their evolving defensive lineup at Stamford Bridge.

Pochettino envisions a future defense that includes Diomande and Levi Colwill. According to the report, Chelsea is currently leading the race and may outpace competition from their Premier League counterparts for the 19-year-old defender.

The report also suggests that the cost for Diomande may be around €50 million, although Sporting has an €80 million release clause in his contract. Sporting plans to extend his contract by an additional year, taking it up to 2028, and would demand a premium in January. Nevertheless, it’s anticipated that his price could drop to around €50 million in the summer, which is when English clubs are likely to pursue a move for him.

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