United lead Liverpool in pursuit of £12m La Liga enforcer

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Manchester United are reportedly in pole position to sign Liverpool target Lassana Diarra.

According to Marca, the Real Madrid midfielder is set to leave the Santiago Bernabeu in the summer after spending much of the season on the peripheries of Jose Mourinho's squad.

Click Manchester now reports that United are leading Liverpool in the pursuit of the £12 million-rated France international, with both sides keen to bolster their respective midfields during the transfer window.

With injury-plagued Owen Hargreaves tipped to leave Old Trafford at the end of the season and Paul Scholes considering bringing an end to his illustrious United career, Sir Alex Ferguson is on the lookout for new recruits.

The United boss is also reportedly keen on Rennes enforcer Yann M'Vila - as are Liverpool - although Diarra's previous experience of the Barclays Premier League may work in his favour.

Diarra, 26, has had spells with Chelsea, Arsenal and Portsmouth and is already accustomed to the physically demanding English game.


And - with his Real career seemingly set to end - he may prove to be a cheaper acquisition for United or Liverpool, with a fee of £20 million previously quoted for M'Vila.

A tough-tackling midfielder is thought to be high on the agenda for Liverpool boss Kenny Dalglish, and West Ham talisman Scott Parker has also been linked with a switch to Anfield.

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