West Ham United have reportedly lined up a deadline day swoop for Championship defender John Egan should Newcastle make an approach for Issa Diop.

According to The Sun, West Ham United have identified Sheffield United defender John Egan as a potential replacement for Issa Diop if the French defender leaves for Newcastle United on the deadline day.

Despite being close to sealing a £13 million deal for Brighton defender Dan Burn, Newcastle are eager for more defensive reinforcements, with Toon boss Eddie Howe wanting at least two centre-backs to shore up the injury-hit backline. They are targeting defenders with Premier League experience, and West Ham’s French centre-back Issa Diop is among a plethora of names on their radar.

Diop has fallen down the pecking order in the last couple of seasons under David Moyes. The 25-year-old has made 17 appearances across all competitions this term, including eight starts in the Premier League, but his increased game time is largely down to injuries than his performances.

His inconsistencies mean the Hammers could be tempted to sell the Frenchman for around £10 million should they secure a replacement in the final few hours of the transfer window. West Ham are desperate to bolster their central defensive ranks before the window slams shut. The Hammers have been linked with a host of centre-backs this month, including Marseille ace Duje Caleta-Car and Liverpool star Nat Phillips.

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While talks with their clubs are progressing well, both clubs are only open to selling their prized defenders on a permanent basis rather than on short-term loans to West Ham’s liking. And now it seems as though Sheffield United defender John Egan has emerged as the latest name to appear on the Hammers’ shortlist.

The 29-year-old came through the youth ranks at Sunderland but made his major development at Brentford. He left the Bees to join Sheffield United in 2018 and has been one of the consistent performers for the Blades over the years. He was an integral part of the side that defied the odds to finish 9th in the Premier League following their promotion in the 2018/19 season.

Now back in second-tier, the Republic of Ireland international has been one of the standout performers at Bramall Lane this term as Paul Heckingbottom’s side are back on track for the Championship playoffs push after a dismal start to the season under former boss Slavisa Jokanovic.

Angelo Ogbonna is sidelined for the rest of the season due to a knee injury. Kurt Zouma has recently returned to action, but should he or Craig Dawson pick up any kind of injury, Moyes will be forced to use Diop again. Not to mention, the Hammers are still in three competitions and adding another centre-back is necessary if they are to preserve their top-four hopes.

Signing someone with a proven Premier League track record in Egan could be a smart move for the east London outfit, given he is in great form in the Championship and can hit the ground running in top-flight. He is a strong, dominant centre-half with good passing ability. Whether West Ham land the Irish defender or turn to other alternatives remains to be seen.

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