West Ham defender Issa Diop has addressed speculation linking him with a switch to Manchester United, insisting he has no plans to leave the London Stadium.
According to Metro Sport, the Red Devils saw an offer for the 22-year-old within the region of £40 million rejected by the Hammers back in June, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer chased defensive reinforcements.
United ultimately cooled their interest and ended up bringing in Harry Maguire from Leicester City, but Diop’s future is still a hot topic of discussion among the West Ham faithful.
The Frenchman has proved himself as a consistent performer in the Premier League since moving to the London Stadium from Toulouse in 2018 and has been tipped to reach an even higher level in the coming years.
However, Diop has finally broken his silence on rumours of a possible switch to United or another top club, expressing a desire to remain at West Ham for the time being.
The Premier League star told France Football: “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.”
Diop started West Ham’s 2019-20 campaign opener against champions Manchester City on Saturday afternoon, which Manuel Pellegrini’s side lost 5-0.
Despite the heavy defeat, the Hammers are expected to push for a top-eight finish this term and Diop’s presence in the heart of the defence will be vital to their chances.
The France U21 international is hoping to prove himself to senior Les Bleus boss Didier Deschamps over the next few months, with a view to joining up with the World Cup-winning squad ahead of Euro 2020.
“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.”