Diarra reveals Pompey snub
By Patrick Haond
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Lyon midfielder Alou Diarra has confirmed that he rejected the chance to join Portsmouth.Lyon midfielder Alou Diarra has confirmed that he rejected the chance to join Portsmouth.
Pompey were very keen to land the French international and the clubs agreed a deal reportedly worth £5million.
However, despite knowing he is unlikely to start under Alain Perrin at Stade Gerland this season, Diarra was not interested in moving to Fratton Park, although the interest of Werder Bremen and Bordeaux does appeal to the former Liverpool man.
"I have always been clear, I don't want to stay under just any circumstance," Diarra explained.
"I don't want to experience the same season as the last one, I would stay only to play.
"There is Euro 2008 [to think of] and I need to play - if there is something interesting for everyone, I believe the club will not refuse my departure.
"Alain Perrin has been very honest with me, so there is no problem."
Diarra explained why he snubbed Harry Redknapp's side, adding to L'Equipe: "I could have joined Portsmouth.
"But it is not part of my career path. Bordeaux, though, wants to play for the first positions in Ligue 1, so of course I am attracted to that.
"But as long as there is nothing more concrete, it is difficult to talk about a priority. But Bordeaux is an appealing possibility.
"Werder Bremen was interesting too, but it seems there was a trouble on financial level."
Meanwhile, Lyon are said to have joined the race for Lens goalkeeper Charles Itandje.
Lens have already signed Vedran Runje and Ronan Le Crom - knowing Itandje was likely to leave.
The 24-year-old has already shunned interest from Real Betis, while Manchester City and Aston Villa are also reported to be keeping tabs on his situation.
Lyon are said to be in the market for a strong No.2, who would eventually succeed first choice Gregory Coupet.