Diop confirms United interest
By Patrick Haond
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The midfield powerhouse rose to prominence during Senegal`s fine World Cup, and the Lens man says Sir Alex Ferguson has sent scouts to watch him in France this term.
Diop is not getting carried away with the prospect of earning a move to the Premiership giants, but hinted that he will look to leave Lens at the end of the season.
Planetfootball.com revealed in the summer that United were interested, and it would seem that Ferguson has continued to monitor Diop`s progress.
"Today, I know Manchester United come to see me regularly," Diop told L`Equipe. "People ask me to confirm my skills on the pitch. I say 'no problem'.
"I don't really get involved in all that, it is my agent`s job.
"Me, I just try and play the best I can."
Diop, who scored the first goal at the World Cup during the win over France, feels he would struggle to win a move at the moment.
He added: "Anyway, to play in The Premiership, you need a work permit.
"Me, I want to do my best during my year-and-a-half with Lens, and then take my chance in a foreign country."
Diop rose to prominence during his time with Swiss side Grasshoppers Zurich, earning him a move to Lens in 2001, and Bruno Metsu has revealed he knew instantly that he had unearthed a diamond.
Metsu, who led Senegal at the World Cup, said: "A first-team member at Zurich? No one ever talked about him to me.
"Then I went to see him and I said 'Get your bag and come to play with us!'.
"He had an amazing match, a true giant.
"He succeeded to seize his chance. I was convinced that as soon as he played, he would not lose his place.
"He is not only strong at winning the ball, he is also very attack-orientated.
"For the World Cup clash against France, with him and Salif Diao, I didn't have to be afraid by Vieira and Petit. I knew it would be the key for our match."
Metsu, though, believes there is so much more to come.
He added: "He is not at his best yet. He has the quality to match his ambition.
"The Champions League can help him reach the next level, it will give him a new dimension."
United are well stocked in the midfield department, but the capture of Diop would further boost the embarrassment of riches already at the disposal of Ferguson.
Lens face a crunch Champions League encounter against Group G leaders Milan on Tuesday, and coach Joel Muller is set to put Diop through his paces on Monday before a decision on his participation is made.
A defeat for Lens and a win for Deportivo La Coruna would see see the French side eliminated, so Muller will be desperate to have the midfield giant on the field at Stade Felix-Bollaert.