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Erik Ten Hag could open the Manchester United club cheque book in January and make a move to sign Ivory Coast international centre-back Ousmane Diomande from Portuguese club Sporting Lisbon. The 20-year-old defender has caught the eye in Portugal's top division after sime impressive performances playing for former club Midtjylland in Denmark, and Diomande is reportedly valued at around £35 million by his club already.
With Man Utd currently depending on Harry Maguire as their first choice centre-back, and with Jonny Evans making a surprise return to Old Trafford, United are said to be looking for defensive reinforcements. Raphael Varane is likely to return to his home country of France as soon as the January transfer window reopens, leaving United seeking alternatives.
Diomande is a tough tackling and quick defender, and has plenty of height standing tall at 6 foot 3. He has a solid command of defence and is now seen as one of the first names on Sporting's team sheet each game.
Sporting paid 7.5 million euros for the playing under one year ago, and are to receive a windfall for the player after less than 12 months should the Abidjan-born defender depart for pastures new.
Diomande is said to be desperate for a move to the Premier League, and his representatives are ready to enable a transfer in January.
Written by Ketan Patel