West Ham United are now open to offers for Issa Diop as David Moyes bids to improve his budget, so here are five clubs including Manchester United who could sign the center-half.
Diop is one of four senior central defenders at the London Stadium alongside Kurt Zouma, Angelo Ogbonna and Craig Dawson. But the Frenchman is down the pecking order, having only started 10 of his 13 Premier League outings after Ogbonna’s cruciate ligament injury.
Instead, Moyes relied on Diop to feature during the early rounds of the Europa League to rest Zouma, Ogbonna and Dawson. The Irons boss only fielded the 25-year-old in two ties and start once beyond the group stage, while unused during either leg of their semi-final.
Now, the Evening Standard report Moyes and West Ham are open to offers for Diop during the summer sales. The Hammers will afford Moyes a significant budget, but the Scot wants to increase the funds available with player sales to further strengthen his defensive ranks.
Diop is one option Moyes is willing to sacrifice, while the Irons harbor concerns regarding Ogbonna’s fitness. The Italian suffered his season-ending injury on November 7 during the east Londoner’s 3-2 win over Liverpool, and also celebrated his 34th birthday on May 23.
So, with West Ham open to offers for Diop – a player with a strong clutch of clubs already showing interest – here are five sides who could potentially sign the defender this year…
Lyon used Europa League tie to hold Issa Diop talks with West Ham open to offers
Diop leaving West Ham over the summer could see the former U21 international return to France after four years away. Manuel Pellegrini splashed £ 22m to purchase the center-half from Toulouse in June 2018, which was a club-record spend for the Hammers at the time.
Any departure will likely see the Irons recoup far less than the fee Pellegrini paid, however. That’s because L’Equipe reported in April that Lyon used their Europa League quarter-final clash with West Ham to hold preliminary talks with Diop’s agent over a potential transfer.
Additionally, as Diop enters the final year of his £ 67k-a-week contract from this June, West Ham are likely to accept offers worth less than € 10m (£ 8.5m) to avoid him leaving for free. A transfer in that region would comfortably fit within Lyon’s intended budget this summer.
Monaco may rival Lyon for Issa Diop should Benoit Badiashile leave this summer
Lyon are not alone for Ligue 1 outfits keen on Diop, as West Ham are open to offers for the Toulouse native, though. Foot Mercato report that Monaco are also interested in exploring Diop’s transfer and will push hard for a deal should Benoit Badiashile leave the Principality.
Monaco greatly appreciate what Diop can bring to the Stade Louis II next term when they will contend in the Champions League qualifiers. The Monegasques also ended the current season third in Ligue 1, a huge 17 points behind runaway champions Paris Saint-Germain.
Diop may favor the chance to compete in Europe with Monaco over a move to Lyon, who ended 2021/22 in eighth-place. West Ham may also appreciate a bidding war between the Ligue 1 sides, with rival bids able to see Moyes strengthen his budget by more than 5 8.5m.
Manchester United could give Issa Diop escape from West Ham after 2019 snub
Remaining in the Premier League beyond the current campaign may also be an option for Diop, though. Foot Mercato add that Manchester United have previously explored a deal and remain keen on the center-back, who also has a long-term admirer in Ralf Rangnick.
A move to Old Trafford would see Diop initially arrive to strengthen Erik Ten Hag’s options with the ambition of eventually winning a starting place. But the Frenchman will prioritize avenues that will offer him an instant starting role should he depart the London Stadium.
Manchester United’s past interest saw the Red Devils draw up a £ 45m offer plus a player in 2019, per Sky Sports. However, Old Trafford chiefs eventually opted to secure an £ 80m world-record deal for a defender to buy Harry Maguire from Leicester City that August.
Issa Diop could bolster Serie A winners AC Milan with West Ham open to selling
While Diop seldom featured this season without injuries to Moyes’ alternative defensive options, Dawson hailed his West Ham colleague as’ excellent ‘after stepping in at the last moment to replace Zouma against Leicester in February and assist in their 2-2 stalemate.
Now, Diop’s infrequent showcases could see him land a move to Serie A and join Scudetto winners AC Milan. That’s because Foot Mercato also note the Rossoneri are also among his admirers and have followed the 6 ft 4 enforcer’s development for a number of campaigns.
Yet Diop could struggle to force his way into the starting AC Milan line-up. Stefano Pioli’s men ended the Italian top-flight season with the joint-best defensive record, having only conceded 31 goals in 38 games. They also registered a clean sheet in 18 of their fixtures.
Arsenal could revive past Issa Diop admiration to strengthen Mikel Arteta’s ranks
If Diop is content starting his next chapter on the bench given West Ham are open to offers for the defender, he may find Arsenal becomes an option. Mikel Arteta will require a larger squad next season, after sealing the Gunners’ return to the Europa League this term.
Arteta used a fairly limited squad this season with Arsenal only playing Premier League and domestic cup games. Yet the heightened amount of matches they will now have next term will see him strive to rest Ben White and Gabriel, similar to how Moyes managed his ranks.
Arsenal have shown an interest in Diop’s transfer from West Ham previously. The Mirror reported in 2020 that Arteta believed the Frenchman could help solve his side’s defensive shortfalls, but Moyes leading the Irons to safety that season scuppered the Spaniard’s bid.
Yet as West Ham are open to offers for Diop, Arsenal could join Manchester United, Lyon, Monaco and AC Milan in presenting the defender with a new path away from east London.
In other news, Report: Arsenal bid £ 35m for player Liverpool also wanted in 2021, he’s now worth just £ 13m