This morning’s L’Équipe reports that Premier League side Newcastle United are in talks with 24-year-old French defender Issa Diop about a transfer from West Ham United.
The Hammers are facing a number of injury issues in defence and therefore a deal feels implausible at this stage in the January window – Kurt Zouma is expected to return to full fitness in 2 to 3 weeks time, a comeback that will put Diop back on the WHUFC bench, according to the newspaper.
Diop has put in a number of strong performances in Zouma’s absence in recent weeks and wants to surf this wave to receive more consequential playing time else.
Like many non-English players in the West Ham squad, Diop has a complicated relationship with manager David Moyes, according to the paper. A situation that has not been lost on Newcastle, who sit 19th in the league table, who have opened discussions about the possibility of signing the player.
Diop is open to a move to the Magpies, who will have to convinced West Ham. Diop is under contract until June 2023 and it would appear that if WHUFC do not want to extend him, now would be the optimal time to sell.
The newspaper claims that NUFC are set to make an opening offer of around €10m to €12m in the coming hours to test the water.
The Hammers are unlikely to sell without a replacement lined up, as Angelo Ogbonna is out until the end of the season. However, West Ham are actively seeking a central defensive signing, could this make a deal for Diop possible?