West Ham issue hands-off warning over Manchester United target Issa Diop

This article is part of Football FanCast’s Transfer Focus series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent transfer news…

West Ham United have once again warned Manchester United that Issa Diop is not for sale, per ClaretandHugh.

What’s the word?

Diop has been heavily linked with a potential switch to Old Trafford this summer, with Sky Sports stating that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side were willing to table a £45m offer with the inclusion of a player for the defender.

However, the new report claims that the club have no intention of selling Diop, who enjoyed an excellent debut season in English football.

He made a total of 38 appearances in all competitions, scoring two goals, and emerged as perhaps the Hammers’ best central defender.

And ClaretandHugh quote sources who claim that Diop, along with Declan Rice, will be remaining at the club for the duration of the summer.

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Can’t afford to lose him

Diop would be incredibly hard to replace.

Across 33 games in the Premier League, Diop, per WhoScored, averaged 2.1 tackles per game, 1.9 interceptions and 4.7 clearances.

The Frenchman also made 1.1 blocks and he has an exceptional passing range, averaging 34.4 passes per game with an accuracy of 86%.

These kinds of defenders do not grow on trees and the Hammers pulled off a bargain when they snapped him up for £22m.

At the time, that was a club record fee but his value has already trebled, at least, and while there may be a temptation to rake in a major profit, replacing him would be nigh-on impossible.

It is no guarantee that players can adjust to Premier League football as smoothly as Diop did and the Irons would need to spend a fortune to bring in reinforcements of his calibre.

Ensuring he stays, then, has to be their top priority this summer.

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