x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Pompey's Diarra set for Real Madrid

Portsmouth accept a "substantial" bid from Real Madrid for France midfielder Lassana Diarra.

Lassana Diarra will join his fourth club in two years - the others being Chelsea and Arsenal - by leaving Portsmouth for Real Madrid.
Lassana Diarra will join his fourth club in two years - the others being Chelsea and Arsenal - by leaving Portsmouth for Real Madrid.

Portsmouth have accepted a "substantial" bid from Real Madrid for midfielder Lassana Diarra. The France midfielder, 23, currently sidelined by an ankle injury, has been given permission to talk to the Spanish giants.

A spokesman for the English Premier League club told the club's website: "We have always said we would only allow our players to leave if we received an exceptional bid." Although the exact figure Real Madrid have offered is unknown, reports have suggested the deal could earn the south coast club as much as £24million (Dh135m). The club spokesman added: "We could not stand in the way of a move such as this for Lassana. "It shows how far the club has come under the ownership of Alexandre Gaydamak when Real Madrid come in for one of our players. "Should the deal be completed, the club have already identified possible replacements." Diarra, who signed a three-and-a-half-year contract when he joined from Arsenal in January for around £5m, previously played for French Ligue 1 side Le Havre and Chelsea. Manchester City were also reported to have been interested but the player has expressed a desire to move to the Spanish club. *PA Sport