Chelsea Transfer News Roundup: Blues want Ousmane Diomande; club eyeing Karim Benzema, and more

Meanwhile, the Blues are interested in Sporting CP centre-back Ousmane Diomande. Elsewhere, the London giants could move for Al-Ittihad striker Karim Benzema before the end of the month.

Chelsea want Ousmane Diomande

Ousmane Diomande is wanted at Stamford Bridge.

Ousmane Diomande is wanted at Stamford Bridge.

Chelsea have made Ousmane Diomande their top centre-back target for the upcoming summer, according to 90 Min.

The Ivorian defender has been rock-solid at the back this season for Sporting, turning heads at Stamford Bridge. The 20-year-old has registered 21 appearances for the Portuguese club – starting 20 – helping register five clean sheets.

The Blues are expected to reinforce their backline this year amid the uncertainties surrounding the future of Thiago Silva. The Brazilian defender’s contract expires at the end of the season, but he hasn’t been handed an extension yet. While he has been outstanding his season once again, the 39-year-old is in the fag end of his career, and succession plans are in order.

Meanwhile, Trevoh Chalobah is also expected to leave either this month or at the end of the season. As such, a new defender is turning into an urgent need at Stamford Bridge.

The London giants have identified Diomande as the perfect candidate for the job but will have to active his €80 million release clause to get their man.

Blues eyeing Karim Benzema

Karim Benzema’s future at Al-Ittihad remains up in the air.

Karim Benzema’s future at Al-Ittihad remains up in the air.

The Blues could push to sign Karim Benzema if Armando Broja leaves this month, according to acclaimed transfer guru Fabrizio Romano.

The French forward is keen to leave Al-Ittihad in January despite only arriving from Real Madrid in the summer. Benzema remains heavily linked with a move to the Premier League, with Arsenal and Manchester United named as potential destination by recent reports.

The Blues lack a proven striker, so the 36-year-old could help usher in a new era under Pochettino. However, in his column for Caught Offside, Romano admitted that a move for Benzema would be difficult.

“It’s not easy to say (who will be the biggest name to move in this window) because in this moment the market is not super clear.

“Keep an eye on a Chelsea striker, maybe Armando Broja could leave Chelsea and there could be an interesting one. It could be a permanent transfer or a loan, so let’s see what happens,” wrote Romano.

He continued:

“Jhon Duran is a very good striker. He’s someone Chelsea are considering, and then the big name could be Karim Benzema, but that could be difficult.”

The French striker earns astronomical wages in Saudi Arabia, so a transfer could only be feasible – on loan – if he agrees a pay-cut.