The broadcaster claimed that the Hammers were adamant that the French centre-back wasn’t for sale and that they wouldn’t listen to offers below £60million.
Sky Sports journalist Aidan Magee has since given his view on the Hammers’ desire to keep Diop and shared he thought they may fight harder to keep him then people think.
The reporter implied that Reid could be a factor in the Hammers holding out a little bit harder for Diop then expected as it would be silly to expect him to be the player he was three-years ago after a recent spell with injury.
“I think they may fight harder than you originally think as they spent £100million last summer and they already signed three players this summer and their spending looks as if it could go up to £95million or £100million again,” said Magee on Sky Sports News (9:40am, Monday June 17th).
“They’ve got 32 players in their squad, three of those, Wilshere, Winston Reid and Manuel Lanzini are long-term injured, not necessarily defenders, so it’s asking a lot.
“We know Fabian Balbuena played very well last year but in terms of centre-back cover, they haven’t really got much there as expecting Winston Reid to come back as the player he was three years ago, is asking a great deal of a player who is 30-years-old.
“So they may hold out a little bit harder and of course they have money so they have a bit of bargaining power.”
Magee is spot on to imply Reid’s current status will play a factor, as the Hammers know that it would be a risk to rely on him to be one of their first-choice centre-back if Diop was sold.
However given the lack of options Pellegrini has in that area, it’s easy to imagine Reid being bumped back up to first-team status, especially if the Hammers don’t sign a replacement for Diop, as his only other option would be to move Declan Rice back into the defence.
And that doesn’t seem like a wise option as the England international worked wonders as a midfield enforcer in his 2018/19 campaign.
Pellegrini knows it would be a risk to count on Reid if Diop exited as the 30-year-old didn’t make one appearance in the 2018/19 season and only featured 18 times in his 2017/18 season as injury got the better of him.
After such a long time out, Reid may be a shadow of the player he once was and that could leave the Hammers defensively vulnerable if they have to rely on him.