Arsenal ‘Made Issa Diop Enquiry’ But Scared Off by West Ham’s Asking Price

​Arsenal “enquired about the availability” of West Ham’s Issa Diop just over three weeks ago, according to a French report.

The 22-year-old had a sublime debut season at the London Stadium, attracting interest from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side. However, the fresh information hints that the Gunners also approached the Hammers in an effort to solve their defensive woes.

Unai Emery

Foot Mercato claim the Red Devils’ verbal offer of just under £50m plus either Phil Jones or Marcos Rojo didn’t come close to West Ham’s £80m valuation of the defender. Solskjaer soon gave up the chase and turned his attention to Leicester City’s Harry Maguire.

Diop then caught the eye of the Gunners, who were quoted a more reasonable £65m, however, this still proved too expensive for Arsenal – who have had to be creative with their £45m summer transfer budget. They’ve used a chunk of it this week to pay an up front fee of around £20m to Lille for Nicolas Pepe.

The Arsenal faithful have been crying out for additions to their defence as their only defensive signing of the transfer window so far, William Saliba, has been loaned straight back to Saint Etienne.

Issa Diop

The lack of signings, alongside the potential departures of both Shkodran Mustafi and Laurent Koscielny, could leave Emery extremely light on numbers at the back. It is clear that those in power at Arsenal are keen to sort the situation out as swiftly as possible.

When asked about the situation of his captain this week, ​Emery said: “He’s a very important player for us. We are speaking with him and with the team, about my responsibilities, the club’s responsibility and his responsibility.

“With respect it’s better for us, it’s better for the team, and it’s changing our idea with the centre back, because if he is here with us this season, it’s very different than if he isn’t with us.

Laurent Koscielny

“At the moment it’s a very personal decision, and we are respecting that. I am speaking with him and we are going to find the best solution, but overall we need a player like him.”

Sadly for the Gunners, it looks as if Koscielny is trying to force his way out of the club. However, ​Arsenal fans will be glad to hear that their side has been enquiring over quality defenders such as Diop.


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