Mikel Arteta set to send scouts to watch £69m transfer target at AFCON this month

Arsenal have been linked with Sporting Club De Portugal defender Ousmane Diomande in recent weeks, and they will have further opportunities to watch him during the African Cup Of Nations this month.

Diomande has been included in the Ivory Coast squad for the tournament, which is set to commence in the coming weeks.
The 20-year-old has been linked with Arsenal, but his club will only sanction a move if his £69m release clause is met. However, whilst a winter move looks unrealistic, a summer deal is possible for Arsenal to land what could become an excellent long-term signing.

Arsenal to scout Ousmane Diomande during AFCON

Portuguese outlet Record has now revealed that Arsenal consider Diomande high up their list of defensive targets, and will send scouts to AFCON to watch him further beyond their initial interest in his performances at Sporting.

Arsenal have been linked with both Diomande and his Sporting teammate Viktor Gyokeres, but scouts watching Diomande close up in a high-pressure tournament away from his club should come away with a strong idea either way over whether Mikel Arteta should pursue the defender.
Diomande a summer target for Arsenal?
Given his asking price, it seems highly unlikely that Arsenal will sign Diomande in the January window, despite their need for a defender.

However, given his talent, Diomande could be a summer target for Arteta, who may look to add reliable cover for William Saliba in the back line.
The Ivorian would add a sizeable physical presence in the back line, and he could cover for both Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes.

Arsenal are short of depth at the back, but it remains to be seen what kind of business they will do in January. If they do sign a full-back to help cover for Ben White, whilst he is playing through an injury, there could still be room for a new centre-back in the summer.

Diomande is still fairly raw, having made just 38 appearances for Sporting in his career, but in the long-term he could develop into a world-class option.

If Arsenal do secure Diomande, the Gunners will be set in defence for the foreseeable future given his age, as well as Saliba’s.

Arsenal already have a strong defensive record, but the lack of depth is a concern, and Diomande will provide extra quality in the squad in the long run.

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