The Cameroon international Lauren believes Real Madrid have got themselves a potential star if they complete the signing of his Portsmouth teammate Lassana Diarra. Portsmouth confirmed earlier this week they had accepted a "substantial" bid from Madrid for Diarra, 23, and had given permission for the player, currently sidelined by an ankle injury, to talk to the Spanish giants.
Madrid, who are looking to bolster their midfield after seeing Mahamadou Diarra and Ruben de la Red ruled out for the season, have yet to confirm a deal has been struck with Diarra, but Lauren feels the Primera Liga champions will not regret bringing in the French international. Lauren has spent the last year playing alongside Diarra at Fratton Park and he believes the ex-Chelsea and Arsenal man offers more than both his namesake at the Bernabeu, Mahamadou, and former Madrid defensive midfielder Claude Makelele. "He reminds me a lot of Makelele. For his physique, for the way he moves on the field and for his position, because he steals a lot of possession in the middle of the pitch," said Lauren, who played for Levante and Real Mallorca in Spain before moving to England with Arsenal in 2002.
"But there is a big difference between them, and that is that Lassana has also got a great long pass. As well as that, he takes up good positions in attack. He is a very complete footballer. Madrid will get themselves an ace." Meanwhile, the Portsmouth manager Tony Adams is "100 per cent confident" he will be allowed to re-invest the full proceeds from Diarra's proposed sale. And as Adams plans for his first transfer window next month as a top-flight manager, he hopes to have picked up a few tricks of the trade from Harry Redknapp.
The final decision on the Diarra bid was left to Adams, but he had no intention of standing in the player's way, despite the fact Portsmouth will miss his commanding midfield presence. Adams' focus is now on bolstering his squad, and he expects to be given funds by the Portsmouth owner Alexandre Gaydamak. "My job now is to get the recruitment right and add to the squad. "I have had players in mind since I have been in the job. You have to get it right. Harry was fantastic at it and hopefully I have learned a bit off the master.
* With Agencies