Spurs plotting move for another ex-Arsenal star - Exclusive
Published 23:01 23/08/10 By John Cross
Harry Redknapp wants to sign another former Arsenal player - Real Madrid midfielder Lassana Diarra.
After landing ex-Arsenal captain William Gallas, Redknapp has also made an enquiry for the 25-year-old French midfielder.
Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho is having to trim his squad to accommodate new £12m signing Mesut Ozil and Diarra is one of the names on his hit-list.
Redknapp is a huge fan of Diarra, having signed him from Arsenal in January 2008 for £5.5m when he was in charge of Portsmouth. Diarra was then sold to Real Madrid a year later for a staggering £20m.
Diarra - who was signed by Mourinho for Chelsea in 2005 - has struggled to establish himself at Real Madrid and it was widely expected the Spanish club would sell him during the transfer window.
However, Diarra has impressed Mourinho during pre-season and it is not a forgone conclusion that he will be allowed to leave. But unless Real Madrid offload some of their other big names then Diarra will be sacrificed.
That has appealed to Redknapp who is eyeing another cut-price deal with Spurs hoping to pay around half the fee which Real Madrid shelled out.
Redknapp has made discreet enquiries to check on his availability and has stepped up his attempts in the last few days as he looks for another holding midfielder to bolster the squad.
Tottenham have been tracking West Ham's Scott Parker but have had a £8m bid turned down and Upton Park chiefs insist he is not for sale. Spurs even made an attempt to do a player-plus-cash deal with Robbie Keane.
But West Ham's snub has made Tottenham look elsewhere and Diarra fits the bill perfectly if he can get the deal done.
Tottenham are keen to offload Jermaine Jenas which would free up funds and if Redknapp can shake-up his squad and bring in Diarra then he would see that as brilliant business.
Diarra had an unhappy spell at Arsenal which lasted less than five months and his associations with Tottenham's north London rivals are likely to cause far less controversy than the signing of Gallas.
Despite being relatively quiet so far in the market, it appears Redknapp is getting busy now and also fancies Sevilla forward Luis Fabiano if Tottenham can secure a place in the Champions League Group stages.