West Ham United boss David Moyes is trying to beat Liverpool to the signing of Real Betis and Algeria defender Aissa Mandi.
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That’s according to a new report from Spanish outlet El Desmarque.
According to West Ham insiders Claret & Hugh Moyes has prioritised strengthening his defence ahead of the new season.
Moyes Hammers home a case for the defence
It is easy to see why the Scot wants new defenders. West Ham conceded 62 goals last season, the fifth worst record in the league.
Newly-crowned champions Liverpool have no such problems.
But with Dejan Lovren having left, Reds boss Jurgen Klopp is said to want Mandi at Anfield.
According to El Desmarque Moyes has ‘asked about the player’ who wants a move to the Premier League after four years with Betis.
West Ham fans might worry the lure of Liverpool might prove decisive for Mandi.
But at 28, the Algerian will clearly want to be playing regularly.
And there is more chance he will do that at West Ham than Liverpool.
West Ham stole a march on Liverpool for Mandi – report
El Desmarque claims West Ham have been following Mandi since March and believe that could give them an advantage in their pursuit of the defender.
The French-born centre half is 6ft tall and a powerful presence who would appear to have the physical capabilities to compete in the Premier League.
Crucially Mandi can also play at right-back. And that explains why Moyes is so keen on him given the departures of Pablo Zabaleta and Jeremy Ngakia and the fact Ryan Fredericks is available for sale.
Regular game time could be West Ham’s ace card over Liverpool
No fee is mentioned for Mandi.
But he only has a year left on his current contract and El Desmarque claims he has told the Spanish club he is not interested in extending.
That could mean the Hammers might get him for a knockdown fee.
Presuming of course Moyes can fend off the interest from Liverpool, where he will clearly be Lovren’s replacement as their fifth-choice central defender.