Real: We don't need Diarra
By Patrick Haond
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Real Madrid director of football Benito Floro is not interested in Mahamadou Diarra.
Real Madrid director of football Benito Floro claims signing Mahamadou Diarra is not a priority for the capital club.
The Lyon midfielder is a top target for Manchester United, who are believed to be determined to fend off strong competition for the Mali international.
Lyon, as in the past, are refusing to sell unless the deal is absolutely right for them, which has prompted speculation in France that they could ask for Ruud van Nistelrooy in exchange.
The Dutchman stormed out of Old Trafford after being dropped for the final day clash with Charlton Athletic and looks set to leave the club but it remains to be seen whether he could be persuaded to head for Stade Gerland, as the prolific marksman has admirers in Spain and Italy.
"Diarra is a good footballer," commented Floro to Marca. "But, sincerely, he is not of the level of Sergio Ramos, nor that of Javi Garcia, and to spend money on this player is not what Real Madrid needs."
Although Real have been known to be less than truthful about their targets in the past, it could be positive news for United despite reports in France claiming Chelsea could frustrate Sir Alex Ferguson by making a larger bid for Diarra.
Jose Mourinho already looks to have outmuscled The Red Devils to bring Michael Ballack to The Premiership but he would appear to be running out of space in his squad to accommodate any more top quality midfielders.
If Lyon did lose Diarra, and there is also some talk that Mikael Silvestre could be a makeweight in any deal, the Ligue 1 champions are expected to move for Lille's Jean Makoun.
The Cameroon international has also been linked with United as the transfer speculation already begins to circulate ahead of a busy summer of spending by Europe's top clubs.