It seems likely that Dortmund’s captain, Sokratis Papastathopoulos, will be leaving the club in the next few weeks. He’s reportedly on his way to Arsenal, which means Dortmund are in the market for a replacement.
It also seems likely that the replacement will end up being Abdou Diallo. According to L’Equipe (via Get French Football), the Mainz center-back has agreed to personal terms with BVB.
Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund are confident of concluding a deal for Mainz defender and French youth international captain Abdou Diallo, according to L’Équipe.
Napoli, Marseille and Arsenal have all been following the player’s situation in the last 12 months, with the latter club still monitoring Diallo’s availability for this summer.
Diallo has agreed personal terms with Dortmund, who have opened formal negotiations with Mainz over a transfer, putting €20m on the table. Mainz have rejected that proposal, demanding more, but have already begun looking for a replacement.
Diallo has spoken to Lucien Favre on multiple occasions, and Dortmund remain certain that they can get this transfer for the 22-year-old over the line.
L’Equipe are pretty reliable, especially for news about a French player. This move looks like it’s happening unless Napoli or Marseille sneak in at the last minute with a significant offer.
Diallo’s signing would be an appropriate representation of the type of transfer business Dortmund have done in recent years. He’s another promising young player who can come in with a hunger to compete for places and to improve as footballer.
If he signs, he’ll join Ömer Toprak, Manuel Akanji, and Dan-Axel Zagadou as BVB’s senior center-backs. Toprak will surely be the first choice, but expect Diallo to battle for minutes with Akanji, his fellow 22-year-old.
Diallo impressed last season at Mainz after joining in the summer from AS Monaco. He was one of the best players on a team that fought relegation, but it’s a sign of the times that he’s being valued as highly as €30 million.
He’s a promising player, but not a sure thing, just like Akanji. If Dortmund are going to improve on their poor defense of last season, one of those two will need to step up this year to fill Sokratis’ boots.