Manchester United target Lassana Diarra’s agent has revealed that, although his contract runs out at the end of June, he will move in January.

Diarra has struggled to make an impact at the Bernabeu so far this season but has offers from Italy to consider as well.

Diarra has experience of Premier League football, having played for Arsenal, Chelsea and Portsmouth and would be seen as a good signing for Sir Alex Ferguson.

It is thought, though, Fergie would rather bring him in on a free transfer in June because Manchester United do not need another holding midfielder yet.

However, Owen Hargreaves’ Old Trafford contract also runs out at the end of the season so Manchester United will then be in the market and would not have to pay a fee to Madrid.

If they are to sign him, though, it now looks as though they will have to move quickly as interest in the player hots up.

His agent said: “His contract with Real Madrid expires in June, but will move as early as January. Diarra is considering several bids, even from Italy.”

Diarra was brought to England by Chelsea but moved to Arsenal for a short period before the Gunners sold him to Portsmouth.

Real then bought the Frenchman off Pompey for £24 million but will have to make a heavy loss on him this time around.

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