La-Sanna Dee-ah-Rah

Lassana Diarra - French international midfielder playing for little old Pompey.

Portsmouth's most talented and valuable player has undoubtedly been the subject of much speculation over the course of the season and some Pompey fans are already resigned to losing him in the January transfer window.

I am one such fan who believes that he will no longer be wearing the royal blue shirt come 2009 so it's just a case of who he leaves us for and how much money we'll receive from his departure.

The two most linked club to his services are "moneybags" Manchester City and of course, Tottenham Hotspur. There have been reports that there is a buy-out clause in Diarra's contract of £10 million but Peter Storrie today rubbished those rumours.

Diarra himself once stated in an interview that he would only leave Pompey to join Chelsea, Manchester United, Real Madrid or Barcelona but then money talks and whilst Redknapp is typically pleading poverty at White Hart Lane, City's owners are shouting about their new found wealth from the highest rooftops of Manchester.

If we put recent transfer fees into context then we can say that Diarra is a better player than Sulley Muntari who joined Inter Milan for £12.7 million so we should be asking for at least £15 million for a player who would walk into the first eleven of most teams in Europe.

If (and it's a big "if") our most coveted player is to stay at Fratton Park any longer then I believe that staying in Europe is a must. Not only that but we'd have to keep hold of our other top players and we'd have to be well placed in what is a very tight Premier League this year.

Should Diarra leave then it will leave a massive gap in the centre of our midfield. As hard as Davis, Diop and Hughes work there is no substitute for the energy, drive, skill and ability that the Frenchman brings to the team. We will miss him and I do hope Tony Adams has a contingency plan for if (or when) he departs.

I won't begrudge him a move away as he is clearly good enough to play for one of the giants of European football (so that doesn't include Man City and Tottenham) and he's always been honest about his future at the club. I can't help thinking he'll just follow the money though...

There is better news for Pompey regarding Diarra's short-term future as despite leaving Upton Park on crutches on Saturday, his injury isn't as bad as first feared and he may be able to play against Hull on Saturday, though it's more likely he will be saved for the game against AC Milan.

And we will most certainly need him for that one....