West Ham have opened talks with both club and player in their pursuit of Monaco defender Benoit Badiashile, according to a French report.
Finding a new centre-back has become an important task for West Ham this winter. They are currently without Angelo Ogbonna and Kurt Zouma due to injury. To maintain their push for a second consecutive European qualification, they need more depth.
Currently, David Moyes is having to rely on Craig Dawson and Issa Diop at centre-back. But the latter has even been linked with a January exit, which would further reduce their options.
Although they have been focusing on signing a striker for the past year, it is clear West Ham now need to strengthen at the other end of the pitch as well.
Various targets are already emerging in that regard. Reports have revealed they have had an offer for Rennes centre-back Nayef Aguerd rejected. An alternative could be Paris Saint-Germain’s Abdou Diallo.
Indeed, it seems West Ham are scouring the Ligue 1 market for defensive reinforcements. Now, according to Foot Mercato, Badiashile is also in the frame.
The 20-year-old has established himself in the Monaco first-team since making his first-team debut in 2018. He now has 104 appearances for the club to his name, 19 of which have come this season.
The centre-half has started eight games among 11 Ligue 1 appearances. Plus, there have been four starts apiece in the Champions League qualifiers and Europa League group stage.
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Under contract in Monaco until 2024, Badiashile has already been attracting transfer interest. He was the subject of an approach from Manchester United in 2020.
But Badiashile could yet get his chance to play in the Premier League. It is claimed by Foot Mercato that West Ham have a strong interest in the left footer.
In fact, they have reportedly touched base with his agents and with Monaco. They were seeking to find out what it might take to sign him.
It is not yet clear whether Monaco would be open to a January sale, or how much that might cost West Ham.
West Ham enter three-horse race for Badiashile
The London outfit are not Badiashile’s sole suitors, though. The report shares the same information about Newcastle United.
After making Kieran Trippier the first signing of the Saudi era, Newcastle now want further defensive reinforcements. Eddie Howe is keen to strengthen at centre-back.
Newcastle’s new wealth means they can compete for high-profile players. All they have to do is convince them to sign up for a relegation battle.
Given that Badiashile has admirers with European football on offer, that may be tough. But there is no confirmation of his thoughts on either destination.
Whatever happens, Foot Mercato expect approaches for Badiashile before the end of the month.
They also confirm news from L’Equipe that Wolves are keen to bring Badiashile to the Premier League. In fact, they are said to have made a €30m offer.
It gives an indication of the kind of price his suitors will have to fork out – at least.
Whereas L’Equipe predicted Badiashile’s future would have to wait until the summer, Foot Mercato are more confident of a move in January. It will be an intriguing battle to see where he ends up.