West Ham tried and failed to sign Real Betis defender Aissa Mandi this summer, according to reports in Spain.
Spanish newspaper ABC Sevilla (via Sport Witness) report that West Ham made a bid between €12m and €15m for Mandi, but it was rebuffed.
Real Betis wanted West Ham to match Mandi’s buyout clause, but the Hammers cooled their interest after that.
Who is Aissa Mandi?
Mandi is a versatile defender, who operates predominantly as a right-back but can also play at centre-half.
Pellegrini identified the 26-year-old as a potential addition for the defence, which needed bolstering this summer.
Mandi joined Real Betis in 2016, ending 16 years at Stade de Reims – the club he joined as an eight-year-old.
The Algerian international also has 25 caps for his country and has established himself as a Real Betis regular over the last two seasons.
Issa Diop joined instead
West Ham’s failure to land Mandi saw them turn their attention to another target.
According to this report, West Ham decided to sign Issa Diop after giving up on Mandi.
Diop has had a mixed start to life at West Ham, scoring an own goal against Arsenal but hitting a long-range equaliser against AFC Wimbledon.
Would Mandi have been a good signing?
Mandi’s arrival would have added competition across the back. I presume his primary position would have been at right-back, pushing Pablo Zabaleta and Ryan Fredericks for game time.
He could also have competed with the likes of Diop, Fabian Balbuena and Angelo Ogbonna for the centre-back positions.
Whether the Algerian defender could have adapted to a more physical game in England is another question.