United could beat Liverpool and Spurs to former Arsenal ace

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Manchester United are being tipped to land Real Madrid midfielder Lassana Diarra under the noses of Tottenham and Liverpool, according to the People.

Diarra, who has played in the Premier League before for Arsenal, Chelsea and Portsmouth, has become surplus to requirements at the Bernabeu after Jose Mourinho’s overhaul of their playing squad.

And the 25-year-old was linked to Liverpool and Man United in the summer, while Spurs boss Harry Redknapp is thought to be looking at moves in the January transfer window to bolster his Champions League squad.

Real, though, would want to recoup the £20 million they paid South Coast club Pompey for, which could be too much for the interested teams.

The Anfield club could sell Brazilian Lucas Leiva in January and, having also lost Javier Mascherano to Barcelona, could be in the market for another midfielder.

However, they have already brought in Christian Poulsen and Raul Meireles nd the asking orice is likely to put Roy Hodgson off.

Spurs have a good relationship with Real, having signed Rafael van der Vaart last month, so could also be in for a deal but, again, the asking price could be too high.

That leaves Manchester United, who will be hoping Diarra asks for a transfer away from the Spanish capital in order to try and knock some money off the valuation.

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