Man Utd weighing up Ousmane Diomande swoop as Sporting cut down asking price | Football | Sport

Manchester United are considering a move for Ousmane Diomande with Sporting prepared to compromise on their asking price to attract summer bids. Liverpool and Newcastle United have also been hot on the heels of the 20-year-old defender, but their interest is understood to have cooled in recent weeks.

United met with Diomande’s representatives earlier this season and communication continued following Sir Jim Ratcliffe‘s arrival at Old Trafford. Sporting need to raise cash through player sales this summer, leaving manager Ruben Amorim in a tricky position.

The Portuguese is desperate to keep hold of goal machine Viktor Gyokeres, meaning the club’s other valuable assets are on the chopping block.

With central defender Zeno Debast on his way to Lisbon, Sporting are expected to cash in on either Diomande or Goncalo Inacio. Diomande’s contract includes a £68million release clause but the club have received minimal interest at that price.

Sporting are now demanding £51m, although it is understood they would seriously consider offers of around £35m. Express Sport has learned that Manchester United are considering a proposal, with further talks scheduled once the future of manager Erik ten Hag becomes clear.

The Red Devils are also tracking other targets such as Everton’s Jarrad Branthwaite and Chelsea star Trevoh Chalobah. New blood is needed in central defence considering Raphael Varane’s departure, Lisandro Martinez’s injury woes and Jonny Evans’ expiring contract.

While Liverpool and Newcastle‘s interest in Diomande has tailed off, top sides in Serie A and the Bundesliga are keeping track of the situation. The youngster’s Sporting contract expires in 2027 and there have been no recent talks over an extension.

Co-owner Sir Jim is naturally keen to make a splash early on in his Red Devils tenure, but United will operate on a shoestring transfer budget this summer unless valuable players are sold.

Speaking ahead of the FA Cup final last weekend, Ten Hag made public his demand for three new recruits. “We need to sign an extra striker in the summer,” the Dutchman told Voetbal International.

“And if we can sign another central midfielder and a replacement for Varane, things will look good again. If the team remains fit we can try and aim for top-four again.”

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