Arsenal boost as Sporting cut centre-back price; Romano confirms ‘contact’ with Premier League star

Will Ford
Diomande Arsenal
Arsenal have been handed a boost in their chase of Ousmane Diomande.

Arsenal have been handed a boost in their bid to sign a new centre-back as Sporting have decided to cut the asking price of one of the Gunners’ top targets.

Sporting director Edu is looking to sign a new centre-back to act as a backup option for Gabriel Magalhaes and William Saliba, who were stalwarts throughout the last campaign.

Centre-back price drop

It’s not one of their top summer priorities, but Mikel Arteta wants further depth in that area given Saliba’s injury at the end of the previous season put paid to their title challenge.

They’ve been linked with a number of centre-backs, including Sporting’s Ousmane Diomande, and reports in Portugal claim the Primeira Liga champions have decided to reduce their asking price for the 20-year-old in order to secure a transfer fee this summer.

Diomande – who’s made 55 appearances for Sporting and has four caps for the Ivory Coast – has a release clause of €80m, but it’s now claimed Sporting are willing to listen to offers of €50m.

Sporting ‘admit’ to selling the defender this summer and while Arsenal’s interest is ‘nothing new’, Diomande’s selection in the Portuguese league’s best XI by coaches and captains appears may well have focused their attention.

Chelsea have also been linked, and given their history of shameless hijacks will presumably increase their interest in line with Arsenal, who are also looking to sign a midfielder.

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Amadou Onana ‘contact’

Thomas Partey has been heavily linked with an exit having barely played this season, and it’s been claimed by multiple outlets that Arteta and Edu are particularly keen on Everton’s Amadou Onana as his replacement.

Onana moved to Goodison Park from Lille in the summer of 2022 and has been consistently linked with a move away ever since.

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has confirmed there’s been “contact” with his representatives from Arsenal, but there will be competition for his services and he’s one of a number of names on the Gunners shortlist.

Fabrizio Romano says, “[It is] not something really concrete at this point. They had some contact, yes, in terms of being informed on the players’ situation, but it’s not the proper negotiation to the club yet.

“I think Arsenal has several names in that list for the midfield. Onana is appreciated by many, many clubs in England.”