Chelsea continue to be linked with extravagant purchases for the upcoming transfer window — we only have ourselves to blame for that — and the latest example of that is a story from the Evening Standard, which claims that we’ve been eyeing up young Ousmane Diomande at Sporting CP (in addition to Viktor Gyökeres, which we already heard last week).
Diomande, who turned 20 just a few weeks ago, (of course) appears to be a very highly rated center back, and he’s played just about every minute of Sporting’s season thus far. He joined them last January from FC Midtjylland in Denmark for just €7.5+5m, but now (of course) he has a massive €80m release clause, which (of course) Sporting are insisting that we would have to pay, having “knocked back an initial enquiry” from us.
At first glance, this is a bit of a head-scratcher, if true. We already have four perfectly capable center backs, and that’s not counting Wesley Fofana (himself an 80m signing), who will be back next season and Trevoh Chalobah, who’s been literally surplus to requirements. Even if (when?) Thiago Silva leaves at the end of the season, we’re surely set at the position for a while — Levi Colwill, Benoît Badiashile, (Fofana), and Axel Disasi are all still very young, especially the first three, and will presumably only get better. Would Diomande represent a big enough upgrade now or in the future? He seems to have the physical and technical tools I guess, but this is all likely just speculation anyway at this point.