West Ham United have been heavily linked with a move for Chilean defender Guillermo Maripan.

Manuel Pellegrini’s immediate priority is to sign a striker.

After that another defensive midfielder should West Ham’s budget allow.

But Pellegrini did want to add another defender to his squad in an ideal world too.

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Pellegrini wants compatriot Maripan

That’s where Alaves star Maripan comes in. According to the likes of The Sun West Ham are keen on Pellegrini’s compatriot and he too wants a move to the Premier League.

Manchester United are being linked with a mega money move for £75m-rated West Ham star Issa Diop (Telegraph).

The Hammers are adamant the Frenchman is not for sale.

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Diop contingency plan faces new threat

But many West Ham fans feel the club might be tempted to take a mammoth sum and reinvest some of it in Maripan as a replacement.

 

That particular contingency plan is in jeopardy, though.

A new report from Spain claims Italian giants AC Milan have emerged as West Ham’s main rivals for Maripan.

Marca claims Milan have entered the race and are going head-to-head with the Hammers.

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Hammers may have to act fast

It may focus Pellegrini’s mind somewhat knowing Diop could be sold should an earth-shattering bid arrive.

West Ham would also be wise to sign Maripan now for a reasonable price.

If they go to Alaves having sold Diop later in the window, the club will undoubtedly demand more as a result.

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