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Toon eye Diarra swoop

Allardyce eager to add bite to Newcastle midfield

By Alex Dunn.   Last Updated: 08/01/08 11:55am

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Diarra: Uncertain future

Diarra: Uncertain future

Sky Bet

Newcastle United have enquired about the possible availability of Arsenal midfielder Lassana Diarra.

The talented 22-year-old, already a regular with the France national side, has found opportunities more limited at Emirates Stadium.

Diarra only moved to Arsenal during the final hours of the summer transfer window but has grown disgruntled at a lack of playing time.

North London rivals Tottenham were mooted as possible contenders for his signature, as were Portsmouth, but it is Newcastle who have stolen a march on their rivals.

Attracting interest

Newcastle's disappointing first half of the season has only heightened a desire for fresh faces and should Arsenal be willing to do business, Diarra's capture would be regarded as a notable coup.

Sam Allardyce has yet to put in a formal offer but is believed to have made a firm enquiry.

Should Diarra move to Newcastle then Allardyce may elect to offload Emre, who has been linked with a switch to Monaco in the French press.

The Principality outfit are reportedly also admirers of Manchester City's Gelson Fernandes, but see Emre as a more realistic option.

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