Diarra waits on offers
By Laurent Picard
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Mahamadou Diarra's agent has hinted Man Utd are ready to move for the player.
Mahamadou Diarra's agent has hinted Manchester United are ready to move for the Lyon midfielder.
The Mali star has been linked with a possible move from Lyon for some time after impressing at Stade Gerland for the last few seasons.
The likes of United, Real Madrid and Internazionale are all thought to be big admirers of the all-action midfielder.
Diarra is believed to be United's top summer transfer target as they seek a replacement for Roy Keane.
Speculation has intensified over an imminent move for Diarra with United boss Sir Alex Ferguson thought to be planning to travel to France to watch the midfielder in action this weekend against Le Mans.
Diarra's agent Frederic Guerra has rejected claims he is set to meet with United officials to discuss a move and ruled out Real Madrid making any attempts to sign the player.
"The Spanish press is wrong, I won't go to Manchester on Monday," said Guerra.
"Maybe they want to put pressure on Real Madrid, but I think they are not interested.
"I haven't an appointment with Sir Alex Ferguson, I don't know if he is going to Lyon this weekend.
"You know great clubs, members of G14 respect the Fifa rules.
"Manchester United, Internazionale and Real Madrid are loyal, they won't call me before May 15th.
"I think Real Madrid are not interested, they have director problems, so they don't have anybody at the club to talk about transfers for the moment.
"If Manchester United want to call me, it is easy to have my phone number.
"They are a loyal club, so they won't start negotiating before the official date.
"Clubs like this act officially, they follow the rules."
United's chances of landing Diarra could be boosted if they offer Ruud van Nistelrooy in a part exchange deal.
Van Nistelrooy looks set to be on his way out of Old Trafford after dropping down the pecking order in Ferguson's plans.
Lyon are thought to be in the market for a new striker and the French club's director of sport Bernard Lacombe has admitted they could be interested in a swap between Diarra and van Nistelrooy.
"It is sure Lyon are interested in Van Nistelrooy," Lacombe told the Daily Star.
"For the moment we have not officially negotiated with Manchester. It will be a complicated financial deal unless we can exchange one of our players they are interested in, like Diarra."