Big sales could generate Newcastle €80m they need to beat Chelsea to defensive target

Chelsea have been linked heavily with Sporting CP defender Ousmane Diomande in the last 6 months, and as we get closer to the summer, our top rivals for his signature are becoming clear.

The top teams have all been mentioned, but this week Football Transfers have thrown Newcastle into the mix, alongside Liverpool, who will eventually need to move on from Virgil van Dijk and Joel Matip.

They say that the Magpies are looking to upgrade on current options like Jamaal Lascelles and Fabian Schar, as the slow and steady Eddie Howe led project looks to take another step forward.

Diomande has a release clause of €80m, which would go far beyond what we’re used to seeing Newcastle spend. But they’re expecting to be forced into some sales this summer, which will open up a vast transfer budget for them. Bruno Guimaraes is being linked with Champions League sides, and his sale alone could well pay for a Diomande bid.

A regular new rival

Chelsea fans may have to get used to this new reality, that Newcastle are going to be one of the teams we’re most commonly locked in battle with over transfers. They have vast wealth, but they’re constrained by the same FFP and PSR rules that we are. They also seem to be taking a methodical approach where they are building slowly rather than going out and signing Kylian Mbappe and ten other superstars.

So far it’s working well for them, and they’ve climbed the league without crazy spending. When it comes to moves like this, it’s easy to see why they’d be a tempting choice for a player like Diomande. He can go and slot straight into a functioning team in the North East, and immediately be playing in the Premier League in a well set up team.

Chelsea may be the bigger brand name, but recent years have shown us to be a basket case, and increasingly players will worry they’re risking their long term prospects if they put their careers on the line by coming to the mess at Stamford Bridge.

A couple of solid years will cure all that – but so far we’re at more than 2 years of instability and counting. The very top tier of players will be calculated in only choosing moves that will further their career long term, and we’ve got to create an environment that puts Chelsea back in that bracket.

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