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Man Utd-linked Diop adamant West Ham are not a ‘springboard’ for bigger move

9:31 PM GMT+8 13/08/2019
Issa Diop West Ham Man Utd
The French defender is among those to have been linked with the Red Devils, but claims to be fully committed to further himself at the London Stadium

Issa Diop is among those to have generated talk of interest from Manchester United, but the highly-rated defender insists he does not consider West Ham to be a transfer “springboard”.

Prior to the Red Devils piecing together a record-breaking £80 million ($96m) deal for Harry Maguire, alternative centre-half options were said to have figured on their radar.

Diop was among those mooted as a target for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with those at Old Trafford seemingly keen to bring in Premier League experience.

A 22-year-old on West Ham’s books has just 12 months in England to his name, but has caught the eye during that time.

He is already considered to be a key part of the Hammers side and is being tipped to take another step up at some stage when interest in his services is rekindled.

Diop, however, insists that he is no rush to leave the London Stadium, telling France Football when quizzed on his future: “West Ham, for me, it was not and is still not a springboard to go elsewhere.

“It’s the club where I want to try to become the best defender I can be, compared to my qualities.

“Whether technical, tactical, physical, I still have a large margin of progression.”

Rather than seeking a switch to new surroundings, the main target for Diop at present is forcing his way into the senior France side.

He has already represented his country at Under-21 level, but is now knocking on the door of Didier Deschamps’ World Cup-winning squad.

“It is the performance that I will make in the match that will determine if I have the level to play with Les Bleus,” Diop added.

 “It’s up to me to work. That’s how I see things.

“All very good players go into the national team. Well, if I am very good, it will come if it should come. Obviously it’s a goal, but the proof that I deserve to reach it, it’s me who must give it.”

Diop was acquired by West Ham for Toulouse in a then club-record £22 million ($27m) during the summer of 2018.

He made 38 appearances across all competitions in his debut campaign and was back in Manuel Pellegrini’s side for a testing opener in 2019-20 which saw the Hammers crushed 5-0 by Manchester City.