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 â€“ he wants to come to Newcastle.
Sam Allardyce had been rumored to be interested in Diarra in late May along with Portsmouth and Manchester United â€“ 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 Â£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.