Martel's Diarra relief
By Patrick Haond
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Gervais Martel has admitted it was difficult for Liverpool to part with Alou Diarra.
Lens chairman Gervais Martel has admitted it was difficult to persuade Liverpool to part with Alou Diarra.
The France midfielder was determined to stay with Sang et Or after an impressive loan season at the club but Rafa Benitez was not convinced he should allow the player to leave.
After tying the 23-year-old to a four-year contract, Martel was a relieved man.
"The process lasted longer than was first expected," he stated. "We seized the option, but everyone had to sign it.
"Liverpool chased after the player and Alou thought about other propositions he had.
"But I was confident as he gave me his word."
The former Bayern Munich man is delighted to have clinched the move to Lens on a permanent basis.
"I feel well in the Lens squad," he affirmed. "The fans appreciate me, like the other players.
"I joined the French team group and the coach has kept me in while playing at Lens.
"All those factors were important."