Pompey In For Diarra Again

By Jim Bonner
Last updated : 15 January 2008
It has been widely reported that Pompey are closing in on a £5.5 million deal for Arsenal midfielder Lassana Diarra. Unlike most other transfer rumours, this one has gathered a head of steam recently for various reasons.

Diarra was initially poised to join Pompey after watching the team at Fratton Park, only to join Arsenal instead. However, he has featured even less for the Gunners than what he did for Chelsea and wants to move again in search of regular first team football.

At Chelsea, Diarra was groomed as Claude Makelele's replacement and I believe he would fit into our system perfectly. The 22-year-old Frenchman is predominantly a strong and agile holding midfielder but is versatile and can play across the back four if needed.

Even if we were to sign Diarra, that doesn't solve our crisis up front.

Fred was rumoured to be a target for Harry Redknapp but the gaffer has admitted that we can't afford him. He now looks likely to join Spurs for £8.5 million which would surely push Jermain Defoe out of the door. (Though if we can't afford Fred, surely we wouldn't be able to afford Defoe either?)

Former Chelsea flop Mateja Kezman has also been linked to Pompey and currently plays for Fenerbahce.

Peter Storrie has revealed that "transfers are close" and we can expect to see one or two through the door before our next game with Derby. He has also revealed that the club have appealed against Fareham council's decision to reject Pompey's plans for the new training facility at Titchfield.

I expect a few developments before the weekend....

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