West Ham land Diop in club-record £21.9m deal

The 21-year-old defender will be playing in the Premier League next season after the Hammers signed the France U21 international from Toulouse

West Ham have announced the signing of Issa Diop from Toulouse, the defender joining for a reported £21.9 million ($29m).

Although West Ham opted not to reveal the fee for the 21-year-old, the Premier League club confirmed the move breaks their transfer record.

Diop was a reported target for Everton and Sevilla, with West Ham claiming they “saw off competition from a host of top European clubs” to sign the centre-back.

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“I am very happy to sign for such a historic English club and I hope to show my best here,” said Diop, who was appointed Toulouse’s captain at the age of 20.

“I am a very ambitious player and West Ham is a very ambitious club, as we’ve seen with the appointment of the new coach. I hope to help the team win lots of games and make the fans happy.”

West Ham’s new director of football Mario Husillos added: “Issa is a player with fantastic potential who has already shown great quality at such a young age.

“He has represented France at every youth level up to Under-21 and we believe that he is now ready to make the next step in his career by moving to the Premier League with West Ham.”

West Ham have already added Fulham defender Ryan Fredericks as their first signing under new manager Manuel Pellegrini, who replaced David Moyes at London Stadium.

Swansea City goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski is reported to be in talks to join West Ham too after Joe Hart’s unsuccessful loan spell from Manchester City came to an end.

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