Italian giants, AC Milan, are interested in making a move for West Ham United star Issa Diop in the January transfer window.

According to Calciomercato, Serie A heavyweights AC Milan are eyeing a move for West Ham United’s star defender Issa Diop in the upcoming winter transfer window.

The Italians enjoyed an excellent start to the season and were neck to neck with Napoli at the top of the league table. However, recent reversals have seen both sides fall away from the summit and hand the initiative back to defending champions Inter Milan.

The Rossoneri are now four points off their arch-rivals in the second spot. With European competition no more a distraction, Stefano Pioli’s side could be set to assault the Serie A summit in the second half of the season.

The January transfer window affords the San Siro outfit an excellent opportunity to address their shortcomings in the squad. One area that needs reinforcing is the heart of the defence. While Alessio Romagnoli and Fikayo Tomori can do a job there, veteran defender and leader Simon Kjaer will miss the remainder of the season after suffering an ACL injury.

Heading nowhere? (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

On the radars of AC Milan (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

Kjaer’s absence leaves a hole in the Milan squad and brings to light the lack of depth in the position. With the club targeting the likes of Diop and Sven Botman, Pioli could very well be handed the resources to renew his title challenge. Milan’s director of football, Frederic Massara, has already made an effort to land Diop.

The Frenchman’s contract at West Ham runs until 2023, and the Hammers appear to be in no mood to sell him. At 24, the centre-back is primed for an excellent career and has shown glimpses of his immense talent in London. A regular for David Moyes’ side of late, Diop has been a key part of the Hammers side that has challenged for a top-four spot of late.

A giant player with decent pace, the Frenchman has the tools in his kitty to further develop into a top defender. A potential move to Milan will not be without its issues. The standards expected will be much higher, and given Diop’s lack of refinement, he could need a bedding-in period. The chances of him immediately settling into the Milan back four are debatable, and the Rossoneri will be better off making a move for a player who can perform for them from the word go.

A summer move for the 24-year-old will make more sense as Pioli & co. can then use a pre-season to acclimatize him to the team’s style. West Ham could also be amenable to sell at the right price as they could be able to bring in a replacement. As things stand, Diop is not the only defender on Milan’s radar. Whether he is the one they eventually end up with remains to be seen.

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