Liverpool could move for Issa Diop before the transfer window closes, according to reports. The Reds could make an unwanted sacrifice to make it happen, however.
The Athletic believes that Liverpool have asked about Issa Diop. The 24-year-old defender is out of favour at West Ham United.
But it’s not simple. West Ham don’t like the idea of a simple loan deal and would only entertain one with an obligation to buy.
That could cost around £20m.
Liverpool, in contrast, aren’t looking for a long-term commitment. This is a crisis signing, after all – they really just want someone until the end of the season.
But looking through all the supposed options, Liverpool may have to give in on Diop here. And that would see them sacrifice.
There is little suggestion that Liverpool want Diop as a long-term option. Buying him for £20m would make him that, though. There is absolutely no chance that Liverpool would pay £20m for four months of football.
Perhaps they could try selling him on again in the summer but that carries the risk of the player not wanting to leave.
Instead, if Liverpool pay this, Diop is their fourth-choice centre-back going forward. But the Reds won’t like that.
The Mirror claims they have ‘firm interest’ in Ibrahima Konate, for instance. He’s a far safer long-term bet than Diop, given he’s three years younger and already playing for a top side.
Journalist Rory Smith recently hinted that Liverpool wanted Diop in the summer, too.
“I think Liverpool intend to sign a centre-back in the summer and I think that central defender is probably someone they will play against in the Champions League’s Last 16,” he told Guardian Football Weekly. “And I don’t think it’s going to be Dayot Upamecano.”
Reports out of Germany suggest Konate has a £36m release clause this summer, too. That’s potentially a bargain fee.
But Liverpool won’t have room for Konate in the summer, nor the available funds, if they sign Diop. The only way around that would be to sell someone else and there’s absolutely no suggestion they want to do that.
It would be a sacrifice, then, to sign the West Ham man. You either end the Konate dream or sell on a current star you’d rather keep.
Either way, Diop would cost Liverpool more than just £20m.