Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has identified a move for West Ham defender Issa Diop as the ideal starting point for his summer overhaul, according to reports.
Arteta, who came into the job after Unai Emery led the Gunners to their worst run of results since 1992, has steadied the ship impressively, with his side losing only once in 2020.
Indeed, the Spaniard has made initial steps to stamp his identity on the team with the loan signing of defender Pablo Mari, who has indicated that he wants a long-term deal at The Emirates.
According to Metro, it is defence Arteta plans to stick with when performing the first stage of an overhaul of his squad this summer, with Diop high on his list of targets.
The newspaper says that the 23-year-old is valued at £60million by the Hammers, who fielded interest from Manchester United last summer.
United eventually opted to sign Harry Maguire from Leicester but it is said that boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer remains a keen admirer of Diop having continued to track his progress.
Metro adds, however, that West Ham could increase their valuation of the Frenchman given his progress over the season and the fact that Arsenal are interested.
Arteta is said to have picked out Diop’s ability to defend in one-on-one situations, his pace and his strength as ideal attributes that would make him a perfect signing.
Indeed, Diop would reportedly be keen on a move across London to feature in Arteta‘s exciting project.
West Ham, who sit two points clear of safety in the Premier League, will see their chances of keeping Diop diminish if they are relegated at the end of the season.
The defender has made 23 Premier League appearances so far this season, chipping in with three goals.
In other news, Arsenal have reportedly been told that they must pay £36million if they want to make Dani Ceballos’ loan move from Real Madrid permanent.
The Spaniard has endured a tough spell with the Gunners, having only come back in January following a lengthy period out through injury.