Liverpool have reportedly joined the race to sign French international midfielder Lassana Diarra.
The 25-year-old midfielder is thought to be one of a string of players poised for a Real Madrid exit in the closing stages of the transfer window, and Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson is thought to be keen on the player.
Reds boss Hodgson added another midfielder to his ranks with the signing of Raul Mereiles earlier today (Sunday), but the former Fulham manager is thought to be keen to add another central player to his ranks following the exit of Javier Mascherano.
Los Blancos Sporting Director Jorge Valdano hinted that a host of non-Spanish players could leave the Bernabeu, with Diarra thought to be one of those players set to leave La Liga. A £9 million fee has been touted by various sources.
Goal.com reports that Liverpool are set to battle Tottenham Hotspur for the Frenchman's services, with both clubs considering a season-long loan option for the former Le Havre player.
Diarra has Premier League experience during his time at Arsenal, Chelsea and Portsmouth, eventually leaving Fratton Park for Spain in January 2009. The fee was believed to be in the region of £20 million.
At international level, Diarra made his debut for Les Bleus in 2007 and has since earned 28 caps for his country.
Spurs keeper Carlo Cudicini has called for his former team-mate to make the move to White Hart Lane ahead of a Champions League campaign, but the Merseyside outfit are set to fight for the player's signature in a bid to add depth alongside Mereiles and Christian Poulsen.