According to a Daily Mail ‘exclusive,’ Real Madrid are closing in on a £20m deal for Portsmouth midfielder Lassana Diarra, with the Frenchman expected to pen a four and a half year deal within the next couple of days.
Real have already taken care of one need by signing Ajax striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, but with Mahamadou Diarra (no relation, as far as I know) and Ruben de la Red both out for the season, midfield is also a January priority for the club.
Just a few days ago, there were reports Diarra was all set for an £18m move to Manchester City, but City’s interest has apparently prompted Real to step up their interest in Diarra, the latest Premier League-based player to be linked to the club since Juande Ramos took the reins last week.
If this becomes a bidding war between Real and City, the biggest beneficiary is Portsmouth, who stand to make a monster profit (and get above their asking price) on a player they paid a lowly £5.5m for just 11 months ago. Of course, Diarra’s bank balance will also benefit greatly as well, but it’ll be hard for Pompey to turn down the kind of money Real paid Lyon for the Diarra that’s already on their books.