Five of Europe’s biggest clubs are apparently tussling it out for the signature of Toulouse starlet Issa Diop.
Spanish media outlet Mundo Deportivo has claimed that Premier League sides Arsenal and Tottenham – alongside La Liga giants Real Madrid and Barcelona – are chasing the 21-year-old’s services as the Ligue 1 club desperately try to cling on to Diop.
Serie A outfit Inter are also credited with interest in the centre-back, and Toulouse’s club captain may end up finding himself in one of Europe’s other top leagues if Michael Debeve’s side cannot hold on to him.
All five clubs are said to have sent scouts to watch Diop in action against French heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain, and will have been left impressed by the defender’s ability to marshal Brazil superstar Neymar.
Diop was credited with scoring an own goal after the ex-Barca megastar’s effort looped off over him to hand PSG yet another league triumph, but the unfortunate nature of that strike should not count against him too much.
Diop is a product of Toulouse’s youth academy – rising through the age groups to become part of the first-team set up in December 2015 after he made his senior bow the previous month against Nice.
Born in France✅
Represented France at youth level✅
Eligible for #Morocco (mother)類
Eligible for #Senegal (father)樂
Toulouse defender Issa Diop, 21, has caught the eyes of Morocco boss Herve Renard and Senegal coach Aliou Cisse is also a fan. He’s hoping for a France call-up. pic.twitter.com/FNlQo6KsgE
— Oluwashina Okeleji (@oluwashina) 8 February 2018
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The French Under-21 international, who made seven appearances for Toulouse’s B team before his progression into the senior ranks, has made 80 appearances in all competitions for Les Pitchouns over the past two years.
Diop is the grandson of the first-ever Senegalese star in France’s top flight – that honour belonging to Labysse Diop.
Diop also turned down a transfer to Leonardo Jardim’s Monaco last summer as he admitted that his sole focus was on helping Toulouse to become established in Ligue 1 for the foreseeable future.
️| Barca scout Josep Moratalla has been closely following Toulouse CB Issa Diop(21). He is also been scouted by Arsenal, Tottenham, Inter Milan and Real Madrid.(Mundo Deportivo)
He is already captaining the French club.
— FootyScouted (@FootyScouted) 14 February 2018
He had said: “It is true, there were discussions. They are the champions of France, they are a great French club. It is always flattering to attract outfits like that. It did not happen in the end.
“I am focused on Toulouse at the moment. I do not pay attention. I decided to stay because I still need to grow, to impose myself at my club.
“I said to myself that another year, at least, is not a bad thing, to go to the next level, to become a true pillar of this side and to have a great season with those aims.”
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