Chelsea are reportedly plotting a £40 million January bid for West Ham United defender Issa Diop, who is also a target for rivals Tottenham.

According to an exclusive report by Daily Express, Chelsea are lining up a £40 million bid to sign Issa Diop from West Ham United in the January transfer window. The French defender is also a target for fellow London club Tottenham.

Issa Diop joined West Ham United from Toulouse in the summer of 2018. A product of the Toulouse academy, the Frenchman has always been rated as a bright prospect, whose pace and reading of the game make him quite an asset. At West Ham, however, the 23-year-old has made slow progress, even though he has been a mainstay in defence.

Diop has already crossed 50 appearances for the Hammers, also chipping in with 2 goals in the process. His progress seems to have caught the eye of two of the best clubs in the Premier League, with Tottenham and Chelsea having their sights set on him.

Tottenham have made a mixed bag of a start to life under Jose Mourinho, with some issues still prevailing. Defence continues to pose a lot of problems, with Spurs last keeping a clean sheet over a year ago. The North Londoners are also in a bit of a pickle, with Jan Vertonghen in the final year of his Spurs contract.

Is Diop set to join N'Golo Kante at Chelsea? (Photo by Ben Stansall/AFP via Getty Images)

Is Diop set to join N’Golo Kante at Chelsea? (Photo by Ben Stansall/AFP via Getty Images)

With Davinson Sanchez and Juan Foyth not impressing a great deal, the need to sign a centre-back to partner Toby Alderweireld has cropped up. To that end, Diop is a viable target for Tottenham to pursue. However, they face stiff competition from Chelsea in pursuit of the 23-year-old.

Defence has been the Achilles Heel for Chelsea under Frank Lampard. While Antonio Rudiger and Kurt Zouma have done well for the most part, there is a tendency to make the odd error. Fikayo Tomori is in the early days of his time as a senior Chelsea player, while Andreas Christensen is being heavily linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge.

As a result, Diop has emerged as a target for Chelsea. Both Chelsea and Tottenham have also been linked with talented defender Ben White, but if the report by The Express is to be believed, Diop is the priority for both the London clubs.

Chelsea, though, appear to be more serious with their interest in the Frenchman, with a £40 million bid in the works in order to land him. However, newly-appointed West Ham manager David Moyes is not ready to listen to any offers for Diop, who he considers as a valuable part of his squad.

It now remains to be seen if Chelsea can do anything to prise Diop away from West Ham this January, or if Tottenham can come up with a significant offer. As things stand, the player is going nowhere, at least in the winter window.

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