United and Spurs set to clash over Real Madrid star

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Real Madrid midfielder Lassana Diarra is a January transfer target for Manchester United and Tottenham, and Jose Mourinho is prepared to sell him back to the Premier League.

France international Diarra is in his third season at Real Madrid since joining them from Portsmouth in 2008, but he has cut a frustrated figure this year having played second fiddle to new arrival Sami Khedira.

Sir Alex Ferguson is a long time admirer of the midfield dynamo, whilst Harry Redknapp managed the defensive midfielder at Portsmouth - where they won the F.A Cup in 2008 together.

The 24-year-old has made only six appearances for Madrid this season, and missed an opportunity to impress Mourinho when he pulled out of Madrid's recent Copa Del Rey match against Murcia with what doctor's described as a 'minor infection'.

Manchester United are keen to add to their midfield as question marks remain over Michael Carrick's form and Owen Hargreaves fitness, whilst Harry Redknapp is keen to add quality to his midfield as he hopes to launch a Premier League challenge.

Diarra has expressed his frustration with the lack of playing time he has been receiving, and annoyed the club with recent statements in which he involved Karim Benzema.

"Karim is okay, he's taking the pressure well. We are football players and, like everyone else, we want to play," he said.

"Come January, we will take stock, and if we are not happy with what is happening we will find solutions, no problem. Now we are only in October, so I will not say this or that. There is still enough time to assess the situation and find solutions in a timely manner. "

Benzema, who has also been linked with a move to Old Trafford, was quick to distance himself with Diarra's statements, saying he wanted to stay and succeed with the Galactico's.

However, Diarra's days at the Bernabeu appear to be numbered over numerous clashes with Mourinho.

The president of Hercules Alicante, Enrique Ortiz, recently expressed interested in Diarra, but Madrid replied that their first option is to transfer him to England, said the Sport newspaper.

It is believed that Manchester United and Tottenham would have to spend at least £14 million to acquire Diarra's services, which is not too expensive for a player who can count Chelsea and Arsenal as his previous Premier League employers.

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Tottenham Hotspur
Premier League
Michael Carrick
Manchester United
Lassana Diarra
Owen Hargreaves

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