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Coy response from West Ham coach Billy McKinlay over mystery absence suggests Fulham may have done Issa Diop deal

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Coy response from West Ham coach Billy McKinlay over mystery absence suggests Fulham may have done Issa Diop deal

A coy response from West Ham coach Billy McKinlay over Issa Diop’s mystery absence suggests Fulham may have done a deal to sign him.

Diop has struggled to establish himself at West Ham under David Moyes and has been linked with the likes of Lyon, Newcastle and Fulham.

His future looked almost certain to be away from the London Stadium following the signing of Nayef Aguerd.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

But an injury to the Moroccan centre-back had cast doubts over whether West Ham would sell.

The Hammers already have an agreement in place to sell Diop to Fulham and the player himself wants to leave this summer according to L’Equipe.

The Cottagers have been told to raise their offer to £20m if they want Diop (Evening Standard).

Photo by Marcio Machado/Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

He was conspicuous by his absence from the West Ham squad for the 1-1 friendly draw with Luton on Saturday despite Moyes having only Kurt Zouma available from his recognised centre-backs.

And a coy response from West Ham coach McKinlay over the mystery absence suggests Fulham may have done a deal for Diop.

McKinlay was happy to confirm injuries to other players such as Aguerd and Craig Dawson.

Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

And he explained Lukasz Fabianski had simply been rested so Alphonse Areola could get a game after playing against Rangers in midweek.

But when asked about Diop’s absence by Sky Sports, the Scot somewhat sheepishly batted the question away by saying the defender was “unavailable” for the game.

“Err, Issa, Issa was unavailable,” McKinlay told Sky Sports.

Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

“Lukasz played during the week and ‘Phonse (Areola) was needing a game.

“So nothing, really, to add to it other than that.”

McKinlay said Aguerd ‘certainly won’t be back in the short term’ after his ankle injury against Rangers.

It may be a case of two and two making five but McKinlay certainly looked uncomfortable discussing Diop.

Photo by Alex Livesey – Danehouse/Getty Images

And if West Ham have sanctioned the sale of the former France youth international, it may not necessarily be to Fulham of course.

But reading between the lines Moyes may about to have another £20m added to his transfer kitty.

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