Alou Diarra On Way To Newcastle from Lyon?

Late news today that Alou Diarra may be the next surprise signing by Sam Allardyce for Newcastle’s midfield. If it does happen there’s at least one good thing in Diarra’s favor – he wants to come to Newcastle.

Alou Diarra

Sam Allardyce had been rumored to be interested in Diarra in late May along with Portsmouth and Manchester United – but nothing seemed to come of it. Diarra is a 6’2″ tall defensive midfielder and on May 18th it was reported that Diarra wasn’t overly enthusiastic about joining Portsmouth. At that time Lyon and Portsmouth were close to settling on a £5.3 million fee for the French International.

Diarra reportedly preferred a move to a bigger club and the midfielder then ordered his representatives to sound out Sam Allardyce about firming up their initial interest at Newcastle.

That’s some of the short history behind this and now it’s being reported that Newcastle have made a late bid for Diarra and have offered improved terms over Portsmouth for the Lyon star. Portsmouth had already seen off interest from Werder Bremen and Bordeaux.

Reports in France today however are suggesting Newcastle could steal Diarra at the last moment. The very fact that Diarra wants to come to Newcastle is good – if Sam really does want to sign him. It appears that all that remains is for Newcastle to agree a fee with Lyon for the player. It’s interesting to note that Lyon are now managed by former Pompey boss Alain Perrin and apparently Diarra has become disillusioned at Lyon since former manager Gerrard Houllier resigned.

Diarra was at Liverpool for three years from 2002-2005 but never made one senior appearance for the club although he was on loan for much of the time. He went out on loan first to Le Havre where he made 25 appearances with no goals, then to SC Bastia where he made 35 appearances and 4 goals and finally signed for RC Lens where he made 66 appearances with 4 goals. He moved to Olympique Lyonnais in 2006 and will turn 26 in July – he has represented France 12 times.

There seems some credence to these reports and Diarra looks a good player – but we’ll need to wait and see on this one – but don’t be too surprised if Allardyce ties this up in the next couple of days.

Comments welcome.

14 comments so far

  • kieran

    Jun 23, 2007 at 6:45 PM

    Comment #1

    does anyone have a link to a video clip i so can see what this guy is like, but do we realy want a player that couldnt get in the liverpool first team? dont mind him coming in to make up the numbers. with parker gone we no longer have a CDM so its likly sam would play him there, who do we have or have been linked with to play in that position? if he is willing to come to newcastle to fight for us instead of money then i would bag him, its hard to find such passionate players about newcastle nowadays

  • Chris F

    Jun 23, 2007 at 7:07 PM

    Comment #2

    well for a start, he couldnt get in the liverpool first team cos at the time, he was only around 20 and they kinda had a few good central midfielders back then…

    but anyway, i don’t believe a word of this. all the reports are saying that we have offered him a better wage than pompey, but that we’re yet to agree a fee with lyon.

    how’s that work then?

    it smells like BS to me, and a blatant attempt by the player and his agent to try and wring more money out of pompey by using us as false competition.

  • Lew Davies

    Jun 23, 2007 at 7:14 PM

    Comment #3

    spot on Chris.
    It’s only true when he wears the black and white.
    Silly season is well and truely upon us!!!!!!

  • kieran

    Jun 23, 2007 at 8:08 PM

    Comment #4

    what im trying to say is that a player thats not good enough for liverpool isnt good enough for us, whats happend to all this cash that was promised coz so far the money we have spent has been funded from the selling of parker

  • matthew

    Jun 23, 2007 at 9:30 PM

    Comment #5

    he has obviously improved since liverpool and the take over isn’t actually complete and i for one am happy at the signings so far it may appear slow but he is getting alot of work done better that way than to rush into things like souness or to slow like roeder i think allardyce is doing a great job so lay off and wait patiently

  • azvael

    Jun 23, 2007 at 11:03 PM

    Comment #6

    People call him the next ”makalele” So he cant be so bad !!!!! hehe

  • kieran

    Jun 24, 2007 at 12:50 AM

    Comment #7

    im not critisising the work that big sam done at the club so far, im just saying that i dont see diarra fitting into our squad, if portsmouth want him then he cant be that good

  • Chris F

    Jun 24, 2007 at 1:30 AM

    Comment #8

    why not? portsmouth have plenty of good players at them now and can’t blame them for wanting more.

    to say he’s not good enough for us because he wasn’t good enough at liverpool 5 years ago is rubbish, frankly.

    he was so rubbish for liverpool that his manager there decided to take him along to his new club with him, where they won the french league 5 years on the trot…

    but yet again, i don’t think we’re after him anyway, i’m just baffled by some peoples reasoning. we may soon be on the verge of having a lot of money available, but that doesnt necessarily mean we’ll attract the best players in the world. at first, all we’ll attract are te money grabbers.

    frankly i’d rather we went about as we have been, buying good players with some desire to play, rather than splashing the money on big name players who just want the cash.

    that’s the reason we’ve ended up in the shit in the last few years.

  • Len Smith

    Jun 24, 2007 at 3:03 AM

    Comment #9

    Chris F. Absolutely spot on What we need now is a solid squad with some depth to get us into top 6, then top 4. When we are back in Europe and on the wya up maybe we can attract top players, not just bribe them. I also think a little bit of humility / realism would not be bad thing in some of these posts. Sam is asking quality players to join a team of lifetime underachievers who are have spent the last few years just above the relegation zone. I think he is doing an outstanding job.

  • john75

    Jun 24, 2007 at 7:07 AM

    Comment #10

    Kieran. We already have a CDM in Nicky Butt, who has really come into his own now that he has settled. However, cover in all positions is needed and I think that Diarra would be an excellent signing, especially if he is showing a desire to come and play for us (which is what most of us moan doesn’t happen enough at NUFC). You can’t look back at his time at Liverpool as a guide, he has obviously matured and developed since then. A good player, at a decent price. Surely he is worth a look at?

  • Shaun

    Jun 24, 2007 at 7:24 AM

    Comment #11

    I agree with John75, and we do need to build a squad

  • […] to Olympique Lyonnais in 2006 and will turn 26 in July – he has represented France 12 times. Alou Diarra On Way To Newcastle from Lyon? | Newcastle United Blog I’ll say get him in. Butt needs a competitor for DM and we need a tall midfielder. I think he has […]

  • larsson

    Jun 24, 2007 at 5:01 PM

    Comment #13

    This in my opinion would be a decent buy adding much needed height to a squad of what can be described as frankly midfield midgets, however i’ve got to agree with Chris this is probably tabliod tripe and i’ll belive it when i see it though i would not be disappointed if it were to happen.

  • Big Toon Al

    Jun 24, 2007 at 5:13 PM

    Comment #14

    spot on, squad depth is exactly what we need. butt might be good for another season or 2, and this lad cant be a bad player havin been part of a top flight championship winnin side for 5 seasons – the same league we’re signin rozehnal from who came 13th with PSG i think..

    we need players who actually want to play for toon, nd if he gets his chance surely he’l fight for his place along with butt – good signin in my books


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