Diarra signs for Madrid

London - Real Madrid have paraded Lassana Diarra after he passed a medical and prepared to seal a £20 million (about R292 milion) switch from Portsmouth.

London - Real Madrid have paraded Lassana Diarra after he passed a medical and prepared to seal a £20 million (about R292 milion) switch from Portsmouth.

The 23-year-old midfielder has agreed to sign a four-and-a-half-year deal at the Bernabeu.

Diarra will officially become a Real player when the transfer window reopens on January 1.

He said: "I feel capable. I have the abilities and I think Real Madrid is what I needed. I need to adapt to the Spanish game and do it quickly."

Diarra added: "I've played with big clubs, got good experience with the French national team and I still want to improve."

He has been compared to former France international Claude Makelele, who also played for Real Madrid.

But Diarra said: "It's true there are similarities but Makelele is Makelele and I am me. Makelele has his own personal style and I have my own. I'm going to Madrid to show what I can do."

The France international started his career with Le Havre before signing for Chelsea in 2005. He moved to the Gunners in August 2007 but left for Pompey five months later.

"We have always said that we would only allow our players to leave if we received an exceptional bid," a Pompey spokesman had said. - BBC

X