Juventus have joined AC Milan and Manchester United in the race for Lazio star Keita Balde Diao, according to reports
According to Calciomercato, Juventus scouts have been watching Diao for a while and have held a long-standing interest in the Lazio forward. They also state that the Turin side have a “great rapport” with the Senegalese international’s entourage.
Manchester United were linked with a move for Diao earlier this month with Jose Mourinho said to be willing to match the £25 million price tag that Lazio have apparently slapped on the forward although there have been no developments on that front since then.
AC Milan were also said to be interested in signing Diao, but Calciomercato claim they are unwilling to meet Lazio’s asking price. However, if no clubs make a move this month the price will probably reduce come the summer as Diao will only have one year remaining on his current contract.
The 21-year old, who is a product of Barcelona’s famed La Masia system, has been in fine form for Lazio this season and has scored 5 goals in 16 appearances in the Serie A. He has also created a total of 27 chances in those appearances and is registering an average pass accuracy of 82%, according to Squawka.
Diao is apparently unsettled at Lazio and is looking for a move. He reportedly “let Milan know” that he was open to offers and La Repubblica even claimed that famous super-agent Jorge Mendes – who represents Jose Mourinho – was trying to engineer a move to Manchester United.
Diao is a technically skilled player who is capable of dribbling with the ball at pace and is also adept at exchanging quick passes with teammates. His weakness lies in his finishing, however, and his defensive work-rate is something that will concern teams who are interested in him and Jose Mourinho in particular.
However, at only 21, the forward still has a lot of time to learn his trade and given his performances for Lazio this season it is no surprise he is being linked with some of the biggest clubs in Europe. The fact that he is attempting to force a move this month could also mean that something could still happen before the end of the window.