Manchester United are reportedly interested in signing French defender Issa Diop from fellow Premier League outfit West Ham United this summer.
As per the report from Sky Sports, Manchester United’s search for defensive reinforcements in the summer transfer window has led them to the doors of West Ham United, with 22-year-old Issa Diop emerging as a target for the Red Devils.
After a disappointing 2018-19 season, during which Manchester United ended up shipping 54 goals in the Premier League – their worst ever defensive record in the competition, the Red Devils are intent on reinforcing their backline ahead of the next term with a new centre-back and a right-back as well.
Apart from Victor Lindelof, none of the other defenders performed consistently for Manchester United. And with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer likely to get rid of Marcos Rojo this summer, signing a new central defender becomes imperative for the club.
A host of defenders have been linked with a switch to Old Trafford, such as Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly and Leicester City’s Harry Maguire. But, Manchester United have been quoted figures of £100 million and £80 million for the two defenders respectively as per Sky Sports, leading to them turning their focus towards West Ham’s Issa Diop.
Diop joined West Ham United only a year ago, arriving from boyhood club Toulouse in a £22 million deal. The 22-year-old went on to establish himself as a key member of the Hammers’ first-team under Manuel Pellegrini, ending his debut campaign in England with 33 league appearances, netting one goal.
The Frenchman drew a lot of praise from former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho when West Ham handed the Red Devils a 3-1 defeat in September last year. An imposing physical presence at the back, Diop backs it up with strong tackling and ability to read the game and has the potential to be a good addition for the 20-time English champions.
Diop is contracted with West Ham till the summer of 2023 and they are unlikely to want to lose the Frenchman just a year after signing him. However, the report adds that the East London outfit could be open to a sale should an offer in the upwards of £60 million comes along. Manchester United though are willing to offer West Ham £45 million plus a player to secure Diop’s services.
Diop, in his only season in the Premier League, has shown enough promise and potential. At 22 years of age, he is bound to improve from here as well, making him an enticing prospect for Manchester United. However, the quoted price tag might seem a little too steep. It remains to be seen if the Red Devils act on their reported interest in the Frenchman or pursue alternate targets.