Diarra waiting on Real call
By Tom Adams
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Lyon star Mahamadou Diarra is reportedly waiting for Real Madrid to firm up their interest.
Lyon star Mahamadou Diarra is waiting for Real Madrid to firm up their interest in him with a formal bid, according to the player's agent Frederic Guerra.
The Mali international has long been suggested as a Real target, as well as reportedly impressing Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson, but now the club's presidential elections have been resolved any transfer manoeuvres can pick up pace.
New manager Fabio Capello is rumoured to be a huge fan of the powerful holding midfielder who has garnered a strong reputation due to his standout performances in the UEFA Champions League over the past few seasons.
Whilst United were reportedly keen to enlist Diarra as the long-term replacement for former captain Roy Keane, it seems as though their Spanish rivals are in the driving seat.
Lyon want a similar fee to the £25 million they received from Chelsea for Michael Essien, and Guerra says he is waiting on a call from Madrid to confirm the Liga giants' interest - with Diarra apparently keen on a switch to the Bernabeu.
"So far there is nothing, it has been said to me Calderon is interested, but nothing else" Guerra told Marca.
"If the possibility arises, I do not think that Diarra would refuse to play there."
Real could raise the capital to finance any deal for Diarra if Arsenal decide to reignite their interest in midfielder Julio Baptista.
The former Sevilla man snubbed Arsene Wenger to join Los Merengues last summer, but after the Brazilian endured a mixed season at the Bernabeu reports indicate that The Gunners could return for the man nicknamed 'The Beast'.