Liverpool interested in £69m centre-back transfer target

Liverpool are keeping tabs on highly-rated Sporting CP defender Ousmane Diomande as the Reds look to bolster their backline.

While the current Premier League leaders aren't expected to dip into the transfer market this January, they may well attempt to sign a new central defender next summer.

Joel Matip suffered a season-ending ACL rupture last December, the 32-year-old's contract set to expire at the end of June. If Liverpool don't offer the former Schalke man a new deal, they will have to find a suitable replacement in the transfer market.

There have been plenty of names linked with a switch to Anfield, including the likes of Marc Guehi of Crystal Palace and Maxence Lacroix of Wolfsburg, but there may be a new target that the Reds are keeping tabs on.

According to the Daily Mail, Liverpool like 20-year-old Diomande, the Sporting CP defender having attracted interest from across Europe after some impressive displays in Portugal.

Currently away with Ivory Coast as he prepares for the 2023 Africa Cup of Nations, Diomande is said to have a £69m release clause in his contract.

Whether Liverpool would be willing to splash such a vast sum on a new centre-back next summer remains to be seen, but Diomande is certainly a player with wonderful potential.

The defender has made 21 appearances in all competitions for Sporting CP this season, managing two goals, an assist and five clean sheets.

Liverpool have also been linked with Diomande's centre-back partner Goncalo Inacio, the Portuguese boasting a £52m release clause in his deal.

Inacio, who has also interested Real Madrid, has greater experience than Diomande, and is a player Liverpool have been touted with signing for some time.

According to the Daily Mail's report, the Reds have also scouted Benfica centre-back Antonio Silva, the seven-cap Portugal international having shone both domestically and in Europe in recent seasons despite being just 20-years-old.

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