The last couple of weeks has seen a familiar storyline emerge for West Ham United fans.

A footballing giant is zeroing in on one of their prized assets, 22-year-old France youth international centre-back Issa Diop.

The defender joined from Toulouse last summer for a then club-record fee, which was surpassed by the signing of Felipe Anderson weeks later.

Despite a sluggish start, Diop went on to enjoy a wonderful first campaign in English football, forming a formidable partnership with Fabian Balbuena and earning the acclaim of high-profile opposition managers such as Jose Mourinho.

Ironically, at the time of that comment, the Portuguese was at the helm of the club currently chasing the 6 ft 4 centre-back ace in Manchester United.

But have the Hammers rolled over in the face of arguably the biggest football club in the world who usually get what and who they want? No, they haven’t.

Having let go of some of their finest talents in years gone by, West Ham started to gain a “feeder club” reputation and it’s one that they’re still fighting off today.

Fresh from the academy, Rio Ferdinand went to Leeds United, Frank Lampard went to Chelsea, Michael Carrick went to Tottenham Hotspur, and the list goes on.

This is why it’s so refreshing to see the way the club have handled the Diop situation, displaying a new-found strength in the market, no doubt helped by the arrivals of Manuel Pellegrini and Mario Hussilos.

At first when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s United came calling for the defensive prodigy, they proposed a swap deal involving one of their players and the Irons demanded it had to be one of their best attackers – namely Anthony Martial.

When Man United rejected this idea, they came in with an approach of £45m, which was swiftly turned down in east London.

Now the club are holding out for £75m for one of their most promising talents, an action that has to be applauded.

Other sides, and perhaps the East Londoners in the past, would have accepted the first bid for Diop and taken the money.

But by being so stern, David Sullivan and David Gold are giving themselves a win-win situation.

If the Red Devils turn around and decide they do want to pay three-quarters of £100m for Diop then the Hammers have pocketed an obscene amount for a player with just one season of Premier League experience.

And if Solskjaer decides Martial is worth losing for the acquisition of his fellow countryman then West Ham would be in possession of one of the most talented attackers in England.

Members of the Claret & Blue Army should be delighted to see their club getting the upper hand over United in negotiations and displaying great strength in attempting to keep the likes of Diop in east London.