Arsenal, Everton and Tottenham Hotspur all missed out on the chance to land Issa Diop this summer, with the French defender joining West Ham United.
The Daily Mail has revealed that several teams, including Manchester United and Barcelona, were among those keeping a close eye on the former Toulouse man.
Issa joined for £22m in the summer and has been a revelation at the back for West Ham United, catching the eye of many with some dominant displays.
The young centre-half was especially impressive as he kept Romelu Lukaku quiet in the Hammers’ comprehensive 3-1 win against Manchester United on Saturday.
Diop’s performance prompted praise from Portuguese manager Jose Mourinho, who could well have been managing the central defender if United had pursued their apparent interest in the summer.
“Congratulations to the scout who found the 21-year-old kid, Diop, a monster who dominated everything in the duels.”- Red Devils boss told reporters.
Unai Emery’s Arsenal did strengthen defensively over the summer transfer market, bringing in Sokratis Papastathopoulos from a German side Borussia Dortmund to give Spaniard move options at the heart of his defence.