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Liverpool ‘add £69m defender’ who Chelsea have had talks about to transfer shortlist | Football | Sport

Liverpool have joined Chelsea in keeping tabs on Sporting defender Ousmane Diomande as a potential transfer target, according to reports. The Reds are currently short of options at the back, with the likes of Joel Matip, Andy Robertson and Kostas Tsimikas all sidelined through injury as things stand.

Academy product Jarell Quansah has been thrust into a prominent role due to Liverpool’s injury problems, with Jurgen Klopp able to benefit from the addition of an extra body in central defence. The Merseyside giants are unlikely to be active in the January window but have earmarked Diomande as a player of interest for the future, according to the Daily Mail.

Diomande, 20, has been turning plenty of heads with his impressive performances for Sporting since joining the club nearly 12 months ago. He is valued highly by the Portuguese heavyweights, who reportedly inserted a £69million release clause into his contract upon his arrival from Midtjylland.

The Ivorian is said to be ‘liked’ by Liverpool, who have also been credited with an interest in fellow Sporting defender Goncalo Inacio. However, it remains to be seen if the Reds will be able to beat Chelsea to his signature, with Mauricio Pochettino also thought to be a keen admirer.

The Blues have already contacted Sporting to enquire about a potential move for Diomande after identifying him as a top target, according to the Evening Standard. Chelsea have also been tipped to strengthen at centre-back, with Wesley Fofana injured and Thiago Silva set to see his contract expire at the end of the season.

Liverpool, meanwhile, are likely to wait until the summer to sign a new defender rather than pushing through a move for Diomande this month. Klopp recently played down the idea of chasing any big-money deals in January, saying: “Just bringing in a player, finding the money for it, as if we have endless money, we always talk about it. I really don’t understand it.

“Everybody, you, the fans, everybody talks about it, ‘we need another player’. They all cost money. It must be the right player. Tell me a club which wants to sell a top, top, top centre-half. If you would tell me one, not a centre-half, a top centre-half, because he will have to play for Liverpool.

“We’ve known that Joel will be out for a long, long time, which is really bad for us, but we still have four centre-halves, which is absolutely alright. If we would have had a fifth centre-half in already beforehand, it’s a completely different team dynamic. One is not involved, we don’t see steps with him or with [another] and stuff like this. So like it was, it was perfect.”

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