Diarra on brink of move to Madrid

Portsmouth have accepted a substantial bid from Spanish side Real Madrid for midfielder Lassana Diarra.

Portsmouth have accepted a substantial bid from Spanish side Real Madrid for midfielder Lassana Diarra.

The 23-year-old France international joined Pompey from Arsenal in January this year and has been given permission to speak to Madrid.

"We have always said that we would only allow our players to leave if we received an exceptional bid," a Pompey spokesman told the club's website.

Manchester City were also thought to be interested in signing the player. City were understood to be prepared to offer in the region of £20 million (about R312million) but Diarra hinted earlier this week in Spanish newspaper Marca that he wanted to move to Real.

"When you talk about Real Madrid the other teams are no longer important, all the others take second place," said Diarra. "It would be a dream to be able to play for such a large club."

Diarra started his career with French side Le Havre before signing for Chelsea in 2005. He moved to the Gunners on the final day of the August 2007 transfer window but left for Pompey five months later.

"We could not stand in the way of a move such as this for Lasanna," continued the Portsmouth statement. "It shows how far the club has come under the ownership of Alexandre Gayadamak. Should the deal be completed, we have already identified possible replacements." - BBC

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