West Ham back in for Sheffield United star as scouts sent to watch Issa Diop replacement

John Egan, Matt Phillips

West Ham could sell Issa Diop this summer and are looking to replace him with Sheffield United defender John Egan, according to a report.

Egan, a Republic of Ireland international, has been a reliable performer for Sheffield United since joining from Brentford in July 2018. This season, the centre-back has made 36 appearances in the Championship.

He has captained the Blades on occasion and has helped them to get back in the play-off places.

The 29-year-old had a match to forget on Saturday when Sheff Utd lost 4-1 to Coventry away from home. Alongside fellow defenders Kyron Gordon and Jack Robinson, he failed to keep Coventry stars Viktor Gyokeres and Callum O’Hare at bay.

However, a Premier League move could still be in store for Egan later this year. According to The Sun, West Ham are back in for him as they prepare to sell Diop.

The Irons were previously targeting Egan in January before cooling their interest. But The Sun claim they sent scouts to watch the player last week.

That means West Ham officials were likely in attendance during the Blades’ 4-1 victory over Middlesbrough on Tuesday.

John Egan watched in action

Egan could not help goalkeeper Wes Foderingham to keep a clean sheet, although he performed significantly better than at Coventry.

The report states Egan may leave Bramall Lane if Paul Heckingbottom’s side fail to secure promotion back to the top flight. That gives West Ham encouragement over completing a deal.

John Egan of Sheffield United

Egan’s Sheff Utd contract runs until 2024, meaning they will not be forced into a sale any time soon. But he is one of their most valuable assets and a summer exit could give Heckingbottom funds to improve other positions.

The centre-back has made 154 appearances for Sheff Utd to date, registering five goals and three assists.

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David Moyes delighted by Andriy Yarmolenko goal

Meanwhile, Moyes has been speaking about West Ham forward Andriy Yarmolenko following the attacker’s goal against Aston Villa.

Yarmolenko has been given compassionate leave in recent weeks due to Russia’s invasion of his home country Ukraine.

He came off the bench at the London Stadium on Sunday and went on to bag a fantastic goal – helping the Irons to win 2-1.

“We have given the boy as much time as he needs. His family are safe at the moment, he tells me,” Moyes told BBC Sport. “He wants to make sure everybody is fine and he has a lot going on.

“Sometimes, football is a release and hopefully he has had a bit of a release getting on the pitch again and scoring but there are more important things in life than football.”

Moyes added: “The goal is great. He has great technical ability and he is capable of scoring big goals, as he has done for me since I’ve been here.”

READ MORE: West Ham plotting move for £21m January target, overshadowed by Jesse Lingard chase