West Ham leading the race for highly-rated Olympiacos centre-back Pape Abou Cisse

West Ham is looking at a defender described by many as the best in the Greek league.

Olympiacos defender Pape Abou Cisse is expected to leave the club this summer and West Ham’s scouts have made contact with the player with a host of clubs circling.

The Hammers have reportedly held talks with the defender who is valued around £15m to the Greek side Olympiacos.

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Heavy investment has been made in Kurt Zouma and the rewards were there for anyone to see last season, with the experienced French defender leading the line during key games.

Pape Abou Cisse of Olympiacos FC celebrates victory after the UEFA Europa League (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

There is also strong interest in defender Pape Abou Cisse from Championship side Watford, and Brighton Hove and Albion are also said to be vigorously looking at the details that could bring him to England.

Last January, Newcastle United - fresh from being named the world’s richest club - made an attempt to sign him but Olympiacos held firm and resisted the temptation to cash in on him.

Cisse has had spells in France with Saint-Etienne and Ajaccio but moved to Olympiacos in 2017 where has been by far the best performing defender in Greece.

In total, he has played 132 times for the 47-time Greek league champions, scoring 16 goals.

West Ham manager David Moyes lost Angelo Ogbonna to a knee injury last season and Craig Dawson stepped up, playing a key role as the Hammers went on a very special run in the Europa League.

Other key areas that will be top on the manager’s list will be bringing in another striker to share the workload with Michail Antonio.

There was a feeling toward the end of last season that the team needed extra-fire power and the right investment could spark another brilliant campaign at the London stadium.