Everton have hijacked West Ham’s £25million bid to sign Toulouse centre-back Issa Diop, according to the Mirror.
The newspaper’s live transfer blog (13 June, 9.55pm) claims that the Merseyside club are now in hot pursuit of the giant centre-back even though the Hammers have a “head start in negotiations”.
The Mirror report that West Ham have “agreed a deal in principle” with Diop but Everton are now firmly in a race that also includes Europa League finalists Marseille, Monaco and RB Leipzig.
West Ham’s top brass will be seriously concerned that Everton are looking to ambush their pursuit of Diop, a 6ft 4in defender who is destined for big things. Aged 21, he is a commanding centre-back who has been a first choice for Ligue 1 outfit Toulouse over the last two seasons and has demonstrated qualities that justify why Europe’s top clubs are all over him. West Ham are in negotiations to sign Diop, but the intense competition for the player’s signature means they cannot be sure of getting a deal over the line. Not with Everton breathing down their necks. Backed by the wealth of Iranian billionaire Farhad Moshiri, the cash-rich Merseysiders have demonstrated over the last two years they have the funds and ambition to blow clubs out of the water when it comes to fees and wages. West Ham have an agreement with the player, but will it prove to be enough as rivals threaten their plans big time?