Pochettino can address three Chelsea problems by securing £70m transfer with victory over Newcastle
Chelsea want to sign Sporting CP starlet Ousmane Diomande but face competition from Premier League rivals Newcastle United, according to reports.
The young centre-back has made a name for himself in Portugal as one of the most talented defenders in Europe. Having caught the eye of a number of clubs last season, Diomande has continued to impress in Lisbon this campaign.
In the summer, Arsenal were understood to be interested in the 19-year-old. Now, the list of suitors has developed and his services could be up for grabs in January.
According to various reports in Europe, Chelsea had identified the Ivory Coast international as a potential successor to Thiago Silva. The Brazilian’s current contract at Stamford Bridge expires in the summer and, while the prospect of him extending his stay in England hasn’t been ruled out, he will turn 40 in September.
The Blues have invested heavily in the centre-back position since Todd Boehly completed his takeover. In the 2022/23 season, Wesley Fofana, Marc Cucurella, Kalidou Koulibaly and Benoit Badiashile were all signed before Axel Disasi arrived from AS Monaco this summer.
Levi Colwill’s emergence through the Cobham academy has added another option meaning Mauricio Pochettino isn’t short in quality. However, Koulibaly’s time in England lasted only 12 months and Cucurella is a natural left-back.
Fofana, who cost the Blues for £75million in 2022, has managed only 20 appearances for the club. The 22-year-old ruptured his anterior cruciate ligament in the summer after only recovering from a knee issue from last season.
With Silva’s age and Fofana’s injury concerns in mind, a move for Diomande makes sense for Chelsea. Trevoh Chalobah is another centre-back at the club, though football.london understands the club will look to sell him once the window reopens.
Despite the stars aligning for Diomande to move, Newcastle have other ideas. According to The Sun, Eddie Howe’s men are keen on his services due to his £70million release clause.
Both teams have proved their willingness to splash big on players, meaning the battle for the youngster’s signature could be a highly-contested one.