Southampton have been linked with a move for West Ham’s Issa Diop recently and if he were to join Ralph Hasenhuttl’s side this summer, it could lead to Jannik Vestergaard’s exit.
According to French news outlet Foot Mercato, Southampton, Wolves and Crystal Palace are all showing an interest in the 24-year-old ahead of next season.
It is suggested that a loan-to-buy deal has been suggested by some of the clubs without any success thus far and with West Ham arguably short on defensive options as it is, it would be something of a surprise if David Moyes allowed Diop to leave this summer ahead of the Hammers’ upcoming Europa League campaign.
If Southampton were to splash the cash on the former Toulouse man this summer, it would not be a surprise to see the Denmark international depart, as he has been heavily linked with a move away throughout the summer.
The 28-year-old’s contract at St Mary’s is set to expire at the end of next season and it makes a lot of sense for Southampton to sell him now rather than losing him for nothing in 2022, especially if they are able to bring in a direct replacement such as Diop.
The West Ham defender made just 18 appearances in the Premier League last season, averaging a less than impressive 6.64 rating from WhoScored for his performances.
However, he has been highly rated in the past, particularly by Jose Mourinho during his time at Manchester United, as he sang his praises following a defeat against the Hammers in 2018, saying:
“(He had a) fantastic match. Congratulations to the scout that found a 21-year-old kid Diop – a monster who dominated in the duels.”
If he were able to replicate those sorts of performances at St Mary’s, then he would surely prove to be an adequate replacement for the six-foot-six Vestergaard next season, with the Dane impressing both aerially and with the ball at his feet last term.
After an impressive Euros, it would not be a surprise to see the former Borussia Monchengladbach man depart Southampton, especially if Martin Semmens opts to sign Diop for Hasenhuttl this summer.
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