Arsenal plotting HUGE January swoop for £69m-rated international starlet: report

Mikel Arteta signals to his players during Arsenal's 2-2 draw against Fulham in August 2023.
(Image credit: Getty)

Arsenal are reportedly poised to reignite their pursuit of Sporting Lisbon prodigy Ousmane Diomande in January.

The Gunners are said to have tried to sign the 19-year-old Ivory Coast centre-back this summer but ultimately made just one defensive addition, bringing in Jurrien Timber from Ajax.

It would appear that Mikel Arteta's side's interest in Diomande has not gone away, though.

Ousmane Diomande of Sporting CP seen during the Liga Portugal BWIN match between Sporting CP and SL Benfica at José Alvalade Stadium.

Ousmane Diomande has made 21 appearances for Sporting Lisbon (Image credit: Getty Images)

According to Portuguese outlet Record, Arsenal are weighing up a fresh approach in the winter transfer window after failing with a £30m bid this summer.

And the Gunners could have to cough up considerably more than that: Sporting, the reports adds, value Diomande at £69m.

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Diomande joined Sporting from Danish club Midtjylland in January this year, having impressed on loan with Portuguese second-tier outfit Mafra during the first half of the 2022/23 season.

He went on to help his new team reach the final of the Europa League, featuring in both legs of their quarter-final victory over... Arsenal.

Sporting Lisbon's Ivory Coast defender Ousmane Diomande (L) vies with Arsenal's Belgian midfielder Leandro Trossard during the UEFA Europa League round of 16, second-leg football match between Arsenal and Sporting Lisbon at the Emirates Stadium in London on March 16, 2023.

Diomande in Europa League action against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium last season (Image credit: Getty Images)

And Diomande's meteoric rise continues: he received his first senior Ivory Coast call-up this month, making his full international debut in an 2024 Africa Cup of Nations qualifying win against Lesotho on Saturday.

Arsenal's continued links with the teenager come after they lost Timber to an ACL injury just two games into his Gunners career, leaving them short at centre-half.

The Dutch international, a £38m arrival in July, is expected to miss the rest of the season.

More transfer stories

Manchester City could sell one of their star men in order to facilitate a massive £120m signing.

Meanwhile, over at Old Trafford, Manchester United might have just been handed a huge opportunity to offload Jadon Sancho after his public falling out with Erik ten Hag.

And Liverpool look set to have to fend off further advances from Saudi Arabia for Mo Salah.

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Tom Hancock started freelancing for FourFourTwo in April 2019 and has also written for The Analyst and When Saturday Comes, among others. He supports Wycombe Wanderers and has a soft spot for Wealdstone. A self-confessed statto, he has been known to watch football with a spreadsheet (or several) open...