Arsenal have been linked with a number of players so far during the January transfer window, with Mikel Arteta determined to do business this month despite the lack of funds currently available to him.
Arsenal spent over £200million in the summer on four new signings which means they need to sell before they buy this month in order to stay in line with FFP. Despite that, the club are still in the market for a player who can improve the squad with the Gunners sending scouts to AFCON to keep a close eye on one of their main targets.
Sporting centre-back Ousmane Diomande is a player that Mikel Arteta is said to be a huge fan of and as previously reported, Arsenal have sent scouts to the tournament in Africa to keep a close eye on the player ahead of a potential summer move.
Arsenal were left extremely impressed following the centre-back’s opening game of the tournament. Diomande played the full 90 minutes as Ivory Coast ran out 2-0 winners over Guinea-Bissau on Saturday. According to SofaScore, Diomande completed 92% of his 66 passes, and also won 80% of his duels.
Arsenal are expected to make their move for Diomande at the end of the season with Sporting valuing the centre-back at around £50million. The 20-year-old is comfortable with both feet and can play either side of a centre-back pairing.
This season Ousmane Diomande has made 15 appearances for Sporting, missing only one game in the competition so far. The young centre-back is a big reason why the Portuguese side currently find themselves top of the table.
Arsenal won’t be the only team after Diomande in the summer, however as we’ve seen with previous deals, when Mikel Arteta makes a player his number one target, he usually gets them. Declan Rice a prime example.
Ousmane Diomande’s next game in the tournament for Ivory Coast comes against Nigeria on Thursday and there’s no doubt the Arsenal scouts will be present at the game once again.