This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…
According to Foot Mercato, Arsenal were put off from making a move for West Ham centre-back Issa Diop, after discovering the Hammers’ reported £65m valuation.
Unai Emery’s side conceded 51 goals in the Premier League last season, giving them the second-worst defensive record in the top six. The Gunners have also been rocked by the actions of club captain Laurent Koscielny, whilst the future of fellow centre-back Shkodran Mustafi remains uncertain.
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The report claims that the north London side turned to Diop in the hope of opening talks for the Frenchman, but ended their interest after hearing his price.
Whilst the Gunners’ reported £40m budget has seemingly proven to be inaccurate this summer, the north London side still don’t boast the kind of financial power of a Manchester City or Liverpool. Emery’s search for a new commanding central defender is understandable given their defensive struggles in recent campaigns, but the Gunners appear to have other priorities first; namely a winger and left-back.
Parting with around £65m for Diop would not have made the most business sense, particularly when you look at some of the other transfer deals for defenders this summer. Matthijs de Ligt signed for Juventus earlier this transfer window for just £2.5m more than what the Hammers seemingly want for their 22-year-old.
As Arsenal have already seen with their loan swoop for Dani Ceballos, there are bargains to be had. It’s just about filtering through the bad ones to get to the good, and spending £65m on Diop simply wouldn’t have been that.