Chelsea 'initiate contact' to sign £69m defender who has recently been linked to Liverpool

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Chelsea and Liverpool could battle for one of Europe's best defenders.

Chelsea and Liverpool are looking at Sporting defender Ousmane Diomande according to reports with the Blues sending out scouts to monitor the Ivorian defender during the ongoing AFCON, LondonWorld has been exclusively told. 

Portuguese side Sporting CP have inserted a £69million release clause in the 20-year-old's contract upon his arrival from Midtjylland last year. Chelsea have initiated talks with his entourage while Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is said to be another admirer. 

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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. Chelsea have been quiet in the transfer window so far but they are keeping an eye out for talents with Thiago Silva's long-term future at the club still up in the air. 

Trevoh Chalobah has also now just returned to first-team training after months out but he's been linked with an exit as the club looks to balance the books with Financial Fair Play rules starring them in the eye. Ian Maatsen has been the only player who has left the club so far after he joined Dortmund on a loan deal last week. 

Chelsea are also on the hunt for a striker but they know they will have to box smartly and have been linked with Saudi Arabia-based duo Karim Benzema and Roberto Firmino, both have massive experience but will command huge wages which goes against the model they have now.

The Blues have also made striker Armando Broja available for sale and will listen to offers of around £50million for the London-born Albanian forward.

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