Manchester United are keen to bring West Ham United defender Issa Diop to Old Trafford, it has been reported.
The Red Devils are preparing a bid in the region of £45 million for the France Under-21 International, according to a report from the Sky Sports.
The Hammers have clarified that the former Toulouse centre-back is not for sale, and that they won’t entertain any bid below the £60 million mark.
Diop, who arrived from the Ligue 1 a year ago for a fee of £22 million, featured 38 times for the Hammers in all competitions this past season, and integrated quickly into the Premier League.
Why Manchester United need to move in for Issa Diop
The transfer window and the first few months of the 2019/20 season will be the biggest test for Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Having already secured the signing of Daniel James from Swansea City, the Norwegian manager has set things in motion, but the club needs to move quickly for their new signings get the full pre-season under Solskjaer.
Diop is a ball playing defender who can feature both as a right or the left-sided centre-back. He is technically astute and there aren’t many players who can outpace him either.
The Frenchman stands in at 194cm tall, and is supreme in the air, so good luck trying to win aerial duels against him. Diop’s anticipation and robust style allow him to keep the opposition attackers at bay, reducing his side’s chances of conceding a goal.
The numbers speak volumes about Diop’s concentration and awareness on the pitch. The 22-year-old averaged 2.1 tackles, 1.9 interceptions, 4.7 clearances, 1.1 blocks and 2.3 aerial duels won per game across all competitions – numbers that put most Manchester United defenders to shame.
Apart from his defensive prowess, the Frenchman has a calm approach to the game with his feet. He managed an average pass accuracy of 86% this past season.
For a player who can break attacks like him, his passing is a huge plus as well, considering Solskjaer wants his side to play out from the back.
Although he is likely to cost a bit of money, Diop has shown that he has what it takes to be a top defender, and also impressed in his first season in the Premier League.
Manchester United need to spend big to shore up their defence, and Diop’s arrival would be a start.