Chelsea are reportedly set to make a £40m bid for West Ham ’s French defender Issa Diop.
Blues are believed to have been scouting the 22-year-old for a while and he has emerged as the club’s top defensive target in the January transfer window.
Frank Lampard has been buoyed by the news that he is able to sign players after the Chelsea had their transfer ban lifted by FIFA.
Diop, who is also a target for Tottenham , has impressed this season even while West Ham struggled under previous manager Manuel Pellegrini.
He was also linked with Manchester United in the summer before Ole Gunnar Solskjaer signed Harry Maguire from Leicester City .
Diop moved to the London Stadium from Toulouse 18 months ago for a club record £22m at the time and has made 55 appearances for the Hammers.
According to the Daily Express , the centre-half is Lampard’s number one defensive target and Chelsea are lining up a £40m bid.
Diop initially impressed at West Ham, but he has been in and out of the team this season, often overlooked in favour of Fabian Balbuena and Angelo Ogbonna.
West Ham United’s Issa Diop is wanted by Chelsea
(Image: PA Archive/PA Images)
Should the Hammers receive an offer close to £40m they would surely consider selling him considering what they paid for him 18 months ago.
The report adds that West Ham boss David Moyes would rather not allow Diop to leave midway through the season.
The Scot has returned to the club for a second spell and is keen to build his squad rather than break it up.
Chelsea are also looking at Bournemouth’s Nathan Ake, who they can bring back to Stamford Bridge for £40m of they want to.
Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho wants Diop as a replacement for Jan Vertonghen, who is stalling on signing a new deal at the Tottenham Hotspur stadium.
It remains to be seen whether or not West Ham will find any substantial bid for Diop too much to turn…