This report links Mark Hughes with a player who would be a fantastic signing, and is a realistic target who could be set to leave troubled Portsmouth.
Manchester City are ready to test Portsmouth’s financial resolve by renewing their interest in midfielder Lassana Diarra.
Mark Hughes is determined to introduce more bite into the squad in January and a midfield enforcer to complement Vincent Kompany is a high priority.
England Under-21 starlet Michael Johnson’s continuing injury problems have highlighted the need for a box-to-box engine room operator who has a penchant for a tackle.
Hughes is keen to augment the myriad attacking ball players in the side with a bit more steel.
The Blues were in the hunt for the 23-year-old French international when he left Arsenal in the summer but after talking to the player’s representatives baulked at the £75,000 per week wage demands.
But even if they persuade a reluctant Portsmouth to part company with Diarra, they may face stiff competition from Spurs with their new boss Harry Redknapp keen to bolster Spurs’ fragile engine room.
“I turned down a £15m bid for Diarra on transfer deadline day. I’m not saying from whom – he might want to go there. But he is worth more than that,” declared ex-Pompey manager Redknapp earlier this season. (Blackpool Gazette)
Every day that Mark Hughes wakes up and reads the papers, he must pinch himself because every player linked with a move to Eastlands could be reached, financially-speaking. However, some are a little unlikely due to the level that those players are currently experiencing, i.e. Torres, Cristiano Ronaldo and Fabregas, three players who really will never join the club.
However, the signing of a player like Diarra could in many ways be a better one. He is a fantastic player and, as this report points out, with Michael Johnson out of action he would neatly fill a hole in the side but is clearly good enough to claim a first-team place at Manchester City.
Do City fans like the idea of signing Lassana, and do they believe they can convince the Frenchman to opt for a move up north over a return to London (where of course he already played at Chelsea and Arsenal)?