Premier League • England

Issa Diop: West Ham stung as Moyes call over Fulham-bound defender backfires; two more on the way out

West Ham centre-back Issa Diop

Issa Diop will leave West Ham in the lurch amid his imminent move to Fulham, and a report claims two forwards could quickly follow the centre-back out.

The Frenchman, 25, has endured mixed fortunes at West Ham since his £22m arrival from Toulouse in 2018. He fell down the pecking order behind all three of Kurt Zouma, Angelo Ogbonna and Craig Dawson last season. However, he did still make 25 appearances across all competitions amid a spate of injuries in the position.

That highlighted the importance of trusted depth pieces, especially at a club whose fixture list has swelled through competing in Europe.

However, the Guardian report manager David Moyes told Diop he would be no higher than fifth-choice centre-back for the 2022-23 campaign. Per the report, that prompted Diop to angle for a way out.

Fulham emerged as a credible contender for his signature. Marco Silva’s side recently signed Shane Duffy on loan from Brighton, though further defensive recruits are on the agenda.

According to the Guardian, Diop fits that bill and Fulham are close to wrapping up a £15m deal.

The Daily Mail added a medical is being pencilled in, while Fabrizio Romano confirmed a ‘full agreement’ is in place.

Should the move cross the line, Diop will leave West Ham in the lurch at the back.

Diop exit an untimely one

Indeed, new £30m signing Nayef Aguerd is sidelined following ankle surgery. Craig Dawson is missing with a hamstring complaint. Ogbonna is still at the rehabilitation stage following a significant knee injury.

Diop could’ve partnered Kurt Zouma for West Ham’s opening match against Man City. However, the Guardian state Diop had ruled himself out of selection contention after being told of his lowly position in the pecking order.

That led to Moyes fielding full-back Ben Johnson alongside Zouma. Diop’s exit will continue to give Moyes a selection dilemma in the early weeks of the season.

Two more to follow Issa Diop out?

Hammers pair Said Benrahma and Nikola Vlasic could also depart this summer, per the Guardian.

The attacking duo aren’t regular starters with the front four of Jarrod Bowen, Manuel Lanzini, Pablo Fornals and Michail Antonio Moyes’ preferred route. Gianluca Scamacca may take Antonio’s position eventually, but it’s the Jamaica international’s for now.

The Mirror reported in late-July Benrahma was facing the axe as Moyes went in search of greater consistency from his attacking options.

Jesse Lingard and Arnaut Danjuma were linked at the time, though neither move came to fruition. Instead, Burnley’s Maxwel Cornet recently arrived for £17.5m.

Vlasic, meanwhile, is a target for Serie A side Torino. The Italian outfit want him on loan, though aren’t wiling to pay the entirety of the Croatian’s wages.