Get French Football News can exclusively reveal that St Étienne defensive midfielder Ismaēl Diomandé has been the subject of intense interest from Sevilla and Watford, but that the player cannot make a move to England in any case this summer due to work permit and passport issues.
At the beginning of the transfer window, Diomandé had been ear-marked by Sevilla, who eventually decided to go for another defensive midfielder in the form of Frenchman Steven N’Zonzi. Watford were however much closer to signing the player, negotiations occurred, but the deal fell through due to work permit problems.
These were suffered because Diomandé is not yet eligible for a French passport and because he has not featured in 75% of the Ivory Coast national team’s fixtures over the last two years, he doesn’t qualify for a work permit either.
His agent is continuing to work to find solutions for his client, but Diomandé will soon qualify for a French passport and will then be able to seek moves to England. Certain French and Spanish outfits are interested in the player, but the names have not filtered through to us.
At the moment he is a St Étienne player and harbours no intention of leaving. Once he has a French passport that line might change, but Diomandé will almost certainly be part of the Les Verts setup this season.