This week, reports from the Portuguese media claimed that Newcastle United sent scouts to watch Ousmane Diomande in action for Sporting.

The Magpies’ interest in the defender was already being reported for a while, so it seemed like they were keeping up with their chase.

It turns out that something even more interesting is today brought by newspaper Record, who interviewed manager Ricardo Sousa.

The coach used to work at Diomande’s former club Mafra, and gave a little more details about Newcastle’s interest, claiming this pursuit has been going on for a while.

“Diomande is one of those players you can’t miss. Shortly before he left for Sporting, Manchester City’s chief scout called me and, before that, someone from Arsenal had already spoken to the club. So the recent interest from a club like Newcastle doesn’t surprise me in the slightest. Sporting, with all due respect, is just a stepping stone in Diomande’s career, he’ll end up playing in a league with another dimension.”

Following Diomande’s loan spell at Mafra, he returned to Danish side FC Midtylland, and Sporting went after him. They only paid €7.5m to sign him back in January.

Now Sousa is pretty sure that the defender won’t stay with the Lions for much longer, as the Lisbon side will soon have a chance to make a big sale with him.

“He’s going to become one of the best centre-backs in the world, there’s no doubt about that. Sporting will sell him for 80 million euros or very close to that.”

As Newcastle prepare to possibly go for his signing, they should then be aware that those other Premier League clubs also made their moves for him in the past.