Manchester United eyeing bargain deal for Sporting CP star to replace Raphael Varane

Ousmane Diomande could be a big part of Manchester United in the future
Manchester United, Ousmane Diomande
Manchester United, Ousmane Diomande / Robin Jones/GettyImages

According to a report from the Express, Manchester United are weighing up a move for Sporting CP central defender Ousmane Diomande.

The Red Devils are scouring the market for options to replace Raphael Varane, who has departed the club upon the expiry of his contract. The Frenchman helped Manchester United win the FA Cup against Manchester City in his final appearance for the club, bowing out of Old Trafford on a high. Since it was announced that Varane’s contract would not be extended, the club started hunting for a worthy long-term replacement.

Manchester United met with Ousmane Diomande’s representatives earlier this season and talks have continued since Sir Jim Ratcliffe bought a minority stake in the club, the Express reports. The Ivory Coast international, 20, is one of the most sought-after young defenders in Europe and has just completed a strong season with Sporting CP.

Ousmane Diomande is a no-brainer decision for Manchester United

The 20-year-old centre-back has three years left on his contract at the Jose Alvalade Stadium, having penned a four-and-a-half-year deal upon his arrival from Danish outfit FC Midtjylland in January 2023. He currently has an €80 million buyout clause, however, the report states that Sporting CP will seriously consider an offer above €40 million this summer.

Diomande has been on the radar of Chelsea and Arsenal for around six months, while Newcastle United and Liverpool have also been linked with a move. The Ivorian has already established himself at the Portuguese club and has serious potential to be a fantastic bargain for Man United.

The INEOS-backed Man United are planning a total overhaul after a hugely underwhelming campaign and are understood to be open to offers for the majority of the playing squad. After Varane’s exit, the club must look to move on Jonny Evans and Victor Lindelof.

We need a strong central defender to partner Lisandro Martinez next season, and Ousmane Diomande appears to be the ideal fit. Good on the ball, strong in the air and tenacious in the challenge, the Ivorian fits the profile of a right-sided centre-back to replace Varane and bring balance to the side. Also, the Sporting CP man satisfies INEOS’ criteria of young talent with the potential to grow along with the rest of the squad.

For €40 million, the deal looks a no-brainer for Man United to complete to kickstart the Sir Jim Ratcliffe-era.