West Ham defender Issa Diop appears to be a wanted man this summer…
According to Pianetamilan.it, Serie A outfit AC Milan have been considering a move for the French centre-back this transfer window as a potential replacement for Alessio Romagnoli, who is out of contract in 12 months’ time.
The current club captain would like a pay rise at the San Siro but the Italian giants have no intention of gifting him that just yet, so they have begun to seek out alternatives in the market.
It’s thought that Milan could offer a loan deal with contains an option to buy, just like they did with Chelsea’s Fikayo Tomori last season, whilst Diop’s representatives are said to have spoken to the club already.
The 24-year-old has endured a tough time in the Premier League since his £22m move from Toulouse in summer 2018 and has now found himself down the pecking order under David Moyes.
He arrived under Manuel Pellegrini and was touted for big things by West Ham’s former director of football Mario Husillos – speaking to the club’s official website back in 2018, he said: “Issa is a player with fantastic potential who has already shown great quality at such a young age.”
However, in 95 appearances for the Hammers, the 6 foot 4 colossus has flattered to deceive and has been tipped to be an ideal player to raise some finances this summer by those around the club.
The Athletic’s Roshane Thomas told the ‘U Irons’ podcast back in late April: “I think from West Ham’s point of view, considering that we never have much money to spend, who does? And if we want to make some decent signings, we’re going to have to sell.
“To me, he’s a prime candidate because usually, we sell players who don’t have much value. So really, it’s just an exercise in getting them off of the wage bill. But you look at Diop’s age you sort of think he’s someone who can still fetch a reasonable fee for but he is not first choice.”
Diop was once valued at around £60m by the east Londoners but now his worth sits at just £16.2m (a huge decrease), as per Transfermarkt, highlighting his regression despite being nowhere near the peak of his career.
As his value continues to plummet, it would be wise for Moyes to cash in on him now before it’s too late.
Football Insider believe that the manager is looking for a top-level centre-back in this window, and that could only cause Diop to drop further down the pecking order ahead of the 2021/22 campaign.
His likely transfer fee, along with getting his £61,000-per-week salary off the wage bill, could help substantially in the Hammers’ bid to bolster all areas of the playing squad ahead of their historic Europa League campaign.
Now is surely the time for the Irons to cash in on the Husillos flop.