West Ham United

West Ham United

Premier League • England

Enigmatic West Ham man set for transfer audition as recent Newcastle target gets new suitor

Issa Diop and Ben Johnson after a West Ham match

The upcoming Europa League tie between West Ham United and Lyon could give Issa Diop the chance to impress a potential suitor, reports claim.

The European adventure is continuing for the Hammers after they knocked out Sevilla recently. Next up for them in that competition is a two-legged quarter-final tie with Lyon.

But aside from being the big next step on their journey in the tournament, it could also turn out to be an ideal chance for them to put someone they may want to sell in the shop window.

That’s because, according to L’Equipe, Lyon have made Issa Diop a priority target for the summer transfer window.

Faced with the potential departures of Jason Denayer and Jerome Boateng, Lyon want to evolve their defence. They have identified Diop as someone who could be a powerful successor.

His Premier League career has been rather enigmatic. West Ham United signed him as a player of great potential from Toulouse in 2018.

Diop’s initial impact was positive and there were links with the likes of Manchester United. But in the past couple of seasons, his gametime has diminished.

The Frenchman was subsequently linked with a transfer to Newcastle United in January. It did not go through, but that hasn’t stopped exit rumours for the 25-year-old.

The calibre of club he is being targeted by may have dropped slightly from the standards of a Man Utd side closer to their peak. But he remains on the radar of sides of a decent stature, as highlighted by Lyon’s interest.

Lyon ready to rebuild defence with Issa Diop

Issa Diop during a West Ham United match

They have fallen to a mid-table ranking in Ligue 1 this season. Therefore, it will be an important summer for them to find new recruits.

Diop is on their agenda, although it is not yet clear how much West Ham may want for him. That said, he is out of contract in 2023, so they would prefer to sell him in the summer rather than lose him for free.

Even amid a defensive shortage at some stages, West Ham have only given Diop nine Premier League starts this season. He has five Europa League starts to his name but it remains to be seen if he will be on the initial teamsheet for their clash with his admirers Lyon.

It is also unclear if interest from Newcastle remains, which would keep him in the Premier League. If not, Lyon may have a clear path to be able to take him back to Ligue 1.

A former France under-21 international, it may be the kind of move he needs to revive his career.

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