By Darren Bent

19th Mar, 2020 | 12:00pm

Exclusive: Darren Bent reacts as PL rivals plot West Ham raid, record-breaking fee reported

Darren Bent has urged suitors of West Ham defender Issa Diop to “look elsewhere” if they want to sign a new centre-back.

The former Tottenham and England striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, has torn into the 23-year-old for blowing hot and cold this season.

As reported by Metro, the likes of Arsenal and Manchester United are keen on signing the 6ft 4in colossus, with the Hammers setting a price tag in excess of £60million on his head.

That fee would smash the Hammers’ current record transfer sale, which stands at £25million for Dmitri Payet back in 2017.

Bent says that there will be better defenders available for less money and that interested clubs should look elsewhere before moving for the Irons star.

Asked about Diop’s reported price tag, Bent told Football Insider: “The jury’s still out on that, really, especially for that amount of money.

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“For that amount of money, I think you definitely have to sit back and have a little think because I’m sure there are defenders out there for a lot less, that are maybe a little bit defensively stronger. 

“I’d maybe hold fire. He’s done okay this season, at times we’ve said he’s played really well, at times we’ve said we’re not quite sure.

“Mmm, I’d be inclined to look elsewhere first for maybe a little bit less and then maybe go back to that.” 

Diop has played 64 times for West Ham since joining from FC Toulouse in 2018, netting five goals along the way.

He has a total of 26 appearances this season, the Hammers out of the relegation zone on goal difference.

In other West Ham news, Paul Robinson claims a lot of clubs are in the hunt to sign a star at the London Stadium.