Manchester United are reportedly set to battle it out with Arsenal for the signing of West Ham United defender Issa Diop in the summer transfer window.
According to a report from Metro, West Ham United star Issa Diop will be a man in demand in the upcoming transfer window with Manchester United and Arsenal set to go head-to-head in the race to sign the 23-year-old.
Diop signed for West Ham in the summer of 2018 from boyhood club Toulouse and has made quite an impact in England. The Frenchman has been one of the few positives for the Hammers during what have been a disappointing past couple of years. In the ongoing term, he has featured 26 times in all competitions, scoring three goals.
Diop’s progress at West Ham hasn’t gone unnoticed, with Arsenal taking an interest in the Frenchman. The Gunners have been plagued with defensive problems all season long and while there have been improvements of late, there remain concerns over the lack of consistency.
Moreover, with David Luiz and Sokratis Papastathopoulos not getting any younger, Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta remains intent on bolstering his backline ahead of the next season. To that end, Diop has emerged as a viable target for the North London giants.
However, Arsenal will have to battle with arch-rivals Manchester United in their bid to sign Diop. The Red Devils have been long-term admirers of the French Under-21 international with former manager Jose Mourinho praising him profusely during his time at Old Trafford.
Manchester United had been linked with Diop last summer as well, but they ended up spending heavily on Harry Maguire. While they have found solidity at the back in recent games, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer remains intent on strengthening his options further, especially with Chris Smalling and Phil Jones likely to be offloaded permanently next summer.
Diop’s towering stature and his ball-playing abilities make him an ideal fit for both Arsenal and Manchester United. And with West Ham staring at the prospect of relegation, should the season resume, they might be forced into cashing in on the 23-year-old, whose contract with the club runs till 2023.
It remains to be seen if either of Arsenal or Manchester United decide to launch a move for Diop or pursue alternate targets, with the Gunners also being linked with Dejan Lovren and the Red Devils monitoring Samuel Umtiti.