Liverpool 'lead chase' for ex-Arsenal star

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Liverpool are thought to be preparing a January bid for Real Madrid midfielder Lassana Diarra.

The Real Madrid midfielder has been courted by a string of European clubs in recent weeks amidst speculation he could leave the Bernabeu this winter, and Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson is thought to be at the front of the pack in the chase for the player.

Diarra has been on the periphery at Los Blancos following the arrival of Jose Mourinho at the La Liga club, and the experienced French international would add strength-in-depth to the Liverpool midfield should Hodgson be able to lure the player to Anfield.

A player with Premier League experience through his time with Chelsea, Arsenal and Portsmouth, former boss Harry Redknapp is also interested in bringing the player back to England with a Spurs move, according to talkSPORT.

However, claimed last week that the Reds have made an enquiry for the player, with reports claiming that Liverpool would have to pay in the region of £10 million for the player.

New reds owners NESV have reportedly guaranteed a transfer war chest for Hodgson on Merseyside, and the Liverpool boss is thought to have targeted 'five or six' players to sign in the opening month of 2011.

Whilst finding a striker to play alongside Fernando Torres is thought to be the main priority for the former Fulham boss, landing a player of the calibre of Diarra would be seen as a coup for the under-pressure Liverpool boss.

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