Ever since Diarra had rebuffed Manchester United’s overtures in the hope of a move to Real Madird, Lyon were fighting a losing battle. Lyon were expected to hold out for 25 mil as they had with Chelsea, but Real Madrid’s reputation for being hard negotiators (10 mil for Ruud, anyone?) is well deserved. Still, 17 mil for a midfielder is fantastic business and Lyon had already made moves this summer to reinforce their midfield.
Critics will say that he went to Madrid for the money, but most likely he went to Madrid for the same reason so many people support them – the history, the heritage and achievements. Put that together with the awesome talent in their squad and Capello at the helm (not to mention playing in a bigger league than Ligue 1) and you have an irresistable combination.
Diarra joins Cannavaro, Emerson and Nistelrooy in a revamped Real Madrid squad that, under Capello, will aim to stop Barcelona from winning their third league title in a row.
I’m the happiest person in the world.
It was a dream for me to play for Real Madrid and at last I’m going to fulfil it.”
“We carried out the negotiations with great professionalism.
We closed the deal for a figure that was considerably less than Lyon wanted.”
Source: BBC Sport
More to follow.