Arsenal are interested in 19-year-old central defender Ousmane Diomande as they compete with Sporting CP for his signature before the January transfer window slams shut.

Arsenal are in the mix for Midtjylland defender Ousmane Diomande. That is according to Mais Futebol and CNN Portugal journalist Bruno Andrade. The 19-year-old is also “in the sights” of Sporting CP.

Portuguese top-flight team Sporting CP are interested in the centre-back and have raised their offer from €5 million to a €7 million fixed fee plus €1.5 million add-ons for him. But Midtjylland want around €10 million, and the talks are ongoing, with the Danish outfit refusing to budge from their asking price.

Diomande is a centre-back currently out on loan in the Portuguese second tier, and despite his tender years, he is already a regular fixture for CD Mafra this season, having made 16 appearances in total across all competitions so far this season, scoring one goal and providing one assist in the process. The 19-year-old has no release clause, and his contract does not expire until 2026.

The North Londoners are doing a lot of business in the final two weeks of the window and could now look to strengthen the talent supply chain after bolstering the senior squad.

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Gunners boss Mikel Arteta already has William Saliba, Gabriel Magalhaes, and Rob Holding as his central defensive options in his first-team squad, while the likes of Ben White and Takehiro Tomiyasu can also operate as center-halves if needed.

Furthermore, Arsenal have recently confirmed the transfer of defender Jakub Kiwior from Spezia. The 22-year-old, who started all four of Poland’s World Cup games, provides the Gunners with a short-term rotation option at the back as well as long-term promise.

So, it is fair to say the Gunners are well-stocked in the central defensive department. And it is unlikely that a move for Diomande would see him thrown straight into the Arsenal first team.

While Kiwior would be a signing to go straight into the first-team squad, Diomande would be a player for the future at 19. He could be sent back out on loan to continue his development and earn vital first-team minutes under his belt, or he could be worked on in the academy until he is prepared for top-flight football.

As well as signing ready-made first-team stars, trying to sign players with Diomande’s profile can often be as important, with the hope they will either blossom into first-team talent or gain enough senior reputation to garner an increased transfer fee when they move on from the club.

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