talkSPORT pundit Darren Gough has fired a warning to West Ham over defender Issa Diop after reports linked the 22-year-old with a move to Man United.
The Evening Standard has reported that West Ham will refuse to sell Diop in a £45million deal.
Talking on Drivetime (talkSPORT, Monday, 4pm), Adrian Durham said West Ham’s stance is proof they are going to go for it next season.
Gough, though, fired a warning to West Ham.
“Yes, although it can cause unrest,” Gough said.
“It’s happened at West Ham a couple of times. They think they’re better than West Ham, they think they’re a step up.
“You have to be very careful in a club like West Ham, you have to be very careful who you let into that club.
“Fifth or sixth is the dream for West Ham, I can’t see them getting any higher than that.”
West Ham have had their fair share of transfer issues, most notably with Marko Arnautovic in January. To be fair to them they stayed resolute then and look set to do the same with Diop, who had a really impressive first season with the club. However, when a player wants to leave it can be really hard to convince them to drop demands to exit and the last thing the Hammers want is unrest in pre-season. If Diop really digs in then they’d be better off selling him, especially if they can get £40-£45million for him plus a United player. That’s a lot of money for a player they paid £22.5million for last summer. However, if West Ham are serious about progression – and Gough is right, fifth or sixth is surely the very best they can hope for – they need to keep hold of their best players. That’s a dilemma that proves what Gough is saying, that a club like West Ham need to be very careful about who they sign. Having said all that, fans have a right to be angry – Diop shouldn’t be coming out and asking for a move just 12 months into a deal that’s put him on the map. This is one to watch.