Liverpool 'harassment expected' for €80m-rated transfer target

Sporting CP expect to receive interest from as many as five Premier League clubs, including Liverpool, for centre back Ousmane Diomande this summer, according to a report.

Liverpool's interest in defensive recruitment this year is well known, with the Reds expected to make signings for the backline regardless of the new manager, sporting director and other behind the scenes appointments.

With Joel Matip now seemingly likely to depart and a left-sided centre back on the agenda for some time, more than one defensive addition is likely, while a host of names have already been touted.

Anfield Watch has previously reported on Liverpool's interest in Ko Itakura (Borussia Monchengladbach), Piero Hincapie (Bayer Leverkusen) and Goncalo Inacio (Sporting CP). Now, A Bola  brings an update on one of Inacio's regularly-linked teammates.

The Portuguese outlet claims that the Reds are among the sides chasing 20-year-old Diomande, along with Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Newcastle United.

The report claims Sporting 'expect harassment' this summer and are aiming to receive around €80m (£68m), including add-ons.

Previous reports have claimed the figure of €80m is Diomande's contractual release clause.

Interestingly, despite being one of Sporting's star men this season, Diomande, who only joined from Danish side Midtjylland in 2023, is one of the club's lowest earners on around €300k (£250k) per year.

It is said that Sporting want to offer the Ivorian youngster a new deal, but whether that would be dependent on a new buyout clause is unclear.

The defender has made 18 league appearances so far in 2023/24, scoring once and registering one assist.

Sporting, who are managed by Liverpool-linked Ruben Amorim, lead the Portuguese league by a point after 24 games.

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