By George Overhill

12th May, 2022 | 3:10pm

West Ham United ready to cash in on Issa Diop to sign 'key target' Nayef Aguerd from Rennes

West Ham will likely need to “shift” one centre-back in order to sign Nayef Aguerd, and Issa Diop is the one they could sell, according to The Guardian.

David Moyes has reportedly identified the Moroccan as a “key target” and the club are now “working on a deal” for him ahead of the summer transfer window.

The Hammers have battled injuries at the position all season, with Angelo Ogbonna missing months with a serious knee injury, summer signing Kurt Zouma in and out of the side with his own knocks, and Diop has recently been out with an ankle problem.

The Guardian report says: “It is likely that West Ham, who reached the last four of the Europa League, will need to shift one centre-back to make space for Aguerd.

“Diop, who has had an inconsistent campaign, could be sold for the right price.”

£20million is reportedly enough to secure the 26-year-old Aguerd from Rennes as the Irons gear up to make a “stronger push” to sign the defender they were unable to get last summer.

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The club need help in the centre of the backline as they can’t be expected to rely on 32-year-old Craig Dawson to be the stand-out for a deep European run every year.

Zouma has been a good signing when fit, but that hasn’t been regularly enough, and it remains to be seen what level Ogbonna is able to perform at coming of a major injury when he will be 34 himself by the time next season starts.

Diop hasn’t been a complete disaster but hasn’t cemented himself as a key man as would have been hoped when he arrived for a then-club record fee in 2018.

The issue will be finding a taker who is willing to pay whatever the club believe “the right price” to be.

It’s probably unlikely that they will be able to recoup the £20million-plus they paid for him, but with age on his side it isn’t out of the question that a team from another league may see him as more suited to the style of football there.

On paper it would be an improvement to replace Diop with Aguerd as Get French Football News called him “one of Ligue 1’s best defenders” in February.

But Diop was rated when he was brought in from the same league for a similar fee so there are no guarantees.

The squad needs a revamp though and it would show the right intent if they can pull this one off.

In other West Ham news, Gary Lineker had a one-word response to a clip posted online of a Hammers star recounting a story about a teammate this season.

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