United pressure Gunners in race for French international

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Football News

Arsenal and Manchester United are reportedly heading for a summer transfer battle over midfielder Lassana Diarra.

The French international is currently plying his trade with Real Madrid in La Liga, but both Arsenal and Manchester United have been linked with a transfer move in the region of £17 million for the former Le Havre star.

After starting his professional career as a teenager at the Stade Jules Deschaseaux, Diarra moved to Chelsea in 2005 and would spend two seasons on the periphery at Stamford Bridge.

On deadline day in summer 2007, Diarra moved to the Emirates for an undisclosed fee. He again struggled to break into the first team, and left for Portsmouth in the winter transfer window of 2008.

The Frenchman became an instant hit at Fratton Park, seizing his opportunity of first team football in the Premier League. He would only stay for a year though, with Pompey selling the midfielder to Real Madrid for a fee believed to be around £19 million.

Diarra has continued to impress at the Santiago Bernabeu, featuring regularly towards the end of the 2008/09 campaign. He has again been involved this season, although competition for places is strong and only likely to get harder for Diarra as Madrid threaten to spend big again this summer.

Now, reports in both England and Spain suggest that the Gunners and the Red Devils will make a move for the defensive midfielder. The latest reports, coming from Spanish national Marca, say United will make a big offer for the 23-year-old.

With 24 international caps to his name, Diarra is not short of experience at the highest level. All media signs point to his exit from Los Blancos in the summer, with the key question being who will land the tenacious youngster.

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