By Dean White

14th Aug, 2022 | 9:10am

West Ham United shocked as defender Odilon Kossounou made available by Bayer Leverkusen

West Ham are on red alert after Odilon Kossounou was made available by Bayer Leverkusen in the final weeks of the summer transfer window, according to Alan Nixon.

Writing via his Patreon account on Sunday morning (14 August), the Sun journalist reported that Leverkusen are ready to sell the 21-year-old Ivory Coast international despite signing him just last summer from Club Brugge for £25million.

Kossounou was a regular for Leverkusen last season but he’s been left out of the starting line-up for both of the German side’s first two Bundesliga matches this term.

It is understood that Fulham, Leicester and West Ham are all in pursuit of Kossounou as they are in the market for a new defender and are “shocked” that a player of his calibre has been made available.

Nixon claims that Leverkusen could send the Ivorian centre-back out on loan and while there are teams in Spain keen on him, a Premier League move is more attractive.

Is he our man?

It’s no secret that David Moyes wants to add to his centre-back options before the transfer window closes later this month.

And it’s no surprise either with full-back Ben Johnson forced to play at the heart of the defence with Kurt Zouma last week in the defeat to Manchester City.

Nayef Aguerd, Craig Dawson and Angelo Ogbonna are all injured and Issa Diop has left the London Stadium to join Fulham.

Our defensive situation is by no means ideal so a new face needs to be added to the squad as soon as possible otherwise this season could become a real slog.

Kossounou was a regular for Leverkusen last season, playing 27 times for them in the Bundesliga and making five appearances in the Europa League.

The Ivory Coast international also represented his country at the Africa Cup of Nations but only started one of his nation’s four matches before they lost to eventual runners-up Egypt in the round of 16.

Kossounou can play at centre-back and right-back and looks to be a very promising young defender.

It remains to be seen how much he’s available for as we’d like to see a loan-to-buy deal rather than just a straight-up loan, which would benefit Leverkusen more than us.