Fulham have tonight confirmed the capture of West Ham central defender Issa Diop for a fee believed to be around £15m.

The French centre half has signed a five-year contract at Craven Cottage and becomes Marco Silva’s second defensive addition in the space of six days after the arrival of Shane Duffy on last week. The 25 year-old, deemed surplus to requirements by David Moyes this summer, made 119 appearances for the Hammers, scoring nine goals – including a header in Fulham’s 3-1 defeat at the London Stadium back in 2019.

Diop told FFC TV tonight:

“I’m very happy, very happy to join Fulham. I hope it’s going to be a very good chapter of my career. It’s all official now, so I’m happy. I just want to train with the team now, and let’s get to work.”

Fulham had tried to sign the 6ft 4in defender following their promotion to the Premier League in 2018 but he opted to join West Ham in a £22m deal after emerging as a teenager in the Toulouse first team. He made his Ligue 1 debut for Les Violets against Nice aged 18 in November 2015 and scored in his second appearance, a 3-0 win at Troyes. Diop helped Toulouse keep eight clean sheets and survive relegation on the final day of the season and made thirty league appearances the following year before being named club captain in 2018, when Toulouse reached the last eight of the Coupe de France and again narrowly avoided the drop.

Fulham’s summer-long pursuit of Diop, who only made thirteen league appearances for West Ham last term, sees them acquire an aerially dominant and speedy centre half, who will offer much-needed competition for Duffy, Tosin Adarabioyo and Tim Ream following the release of Michael Hector and Alfie Mawson at the end of last season. Diop, who scored in the final of the 2016 Under 19 European Championships which France won, has been capped for his country at every youth level and will be handed the number 31 shirt. He will be available for Saturday’s first away fixture of the season at Wolverhampton Wanderers.