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Chelsea Ready To Launch £40m Bid For West Ham Defender

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Chelsea ‘are set to make a £40million bid for West Ham’s Issa Diop’ as Frank Lampard seeks to strengthen his defence this month.

The Blues have been keeping tabs on French centre-back Diop, 22, for several months and are reportedly now on the verge of making their move.

Diop, who's also a target for Tottenham, has impressed this season despite West Ham’s struggles which saw Manuel Pellegrini sacked and replaced by David Moyes last month.

According to the Daily Express, Diop is Chelsea’s foremost defensive target for the January window after their transfer ban was lifted.

Moyes is expected to ensure West Ham dig in their heels, however, and will be unwilling to allow Diop to depart therefore early in his second tenure as manager at the London Stadium.

The 6ft 4in defender cost West Ham £22m when they signed him from French club Toulouse just 18 months ago and he has three-and-a-half years remaining on his contract.

West Ham are believed to want a fee in the region of £50m for Diop, who has started 14 Premier League games for the Hammers this season.

Chelsea have shifted their sights to Diop this month after another target, Nathan Ake of Bournemouth, suffered a hamstring injury.

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