Manchester United’s pursuit of Paul Pogba has been all over the news this summer, but it’s their pursuit of another French midfielder which has gone under the radar. The midfielder is none other than Lassana Diarra.
Multiple clubs have been trying for the experienced Frenchman’s signature this summer, and according to reports, Premier League clubs Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspurs are having a battle between them.
Diarra’s career began in Le Havre, the same club fellow France international Paul Pogba was in before his move to English giants Manchester United. Diarra was also in Chelsea’s first team squad in the 2005-2006 season under current Manchester United manager José Mourinho, and was named as the Blues’ young player of the year for the same season.
On 31st August 2007, on the transfer deadline day, he signed for Arsenal for an undisclosed fee. In January 2008, he moved to Portsmouth after only five months with the Gunners for an undisclosed fee believed to be around £5.5 million.
Diarra had an excellent 2015-2016 season with Ligue 1 club Marseille, prompting France manager Didier Deschamps to select him for the Euros 2016 squad. Unfortunately, Diarra got injured during training, and had to be replaced by Manchester United’s Morgan Schneiderlin.
Diarra was solid in defensive midfield for Marseille last season, and committed only one defensive error in the league. He made a total of 43 interceptions, tackled 67 times and earned a yellow card only 4 times in 26 games. Diarra was a stand out performer for Marseille, who finished a disappointing 13th in the league.
And now, according to reports in Spain, it is Valencia and Galatasaray who are participating in negotiations with Lassana Diarra.
The Spanish club are ready to hand Diarra a three-year deal worth £3m a year, while Galatasaray hope to lure him to Turkey with a contract of similar length, but worth £4.25m a season.
Diarra reportedly prefers a move to Spain over Turkey because of its current political instability.
According to Talksport, both Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspurs are also trying hard to bring the 31-year-old back to England, and both of them can offer better wages than the ones offered by Valencia and Galatasaray.