DIARRA FOR EASTLANDS? SLEEP EASY...
By Site reporter
Sunday 15 Jun 2008 23:23:00
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Pompey fans needn't worry over reports Manchester City are plotting an £8m bid for Lassana Diarra.

For starters, Pompey won't let the star of the final four months of last season go for less than £10m. Add to that the fact Diarra would probably leave Fratton only for Manchester United and you have a story that is going to end in a non-story.

Mark Hughes may well be getting his own back for Pompey going public on their interest in Richard Dunne in talking about, or at least not denying, interest in midfield marvel Diarra. But look behind the story and you can see it is simply not going to happen.

What would City give Diarra that Pompey can't? They may have sneaked into the UEFA Cup through the back door, but Pompey are in it in their own right after winning the FA Cup, and have a good deal better chance of making the group stages.

And Diarra, having left first Chelsea then Arsenal in the past year, knows he is going to have to settle somewhere for a little longer sooner rather than later - a third move within 12 months might not look good for his international credentials.

Diarra hasn't quite made it into the first-choice French XI yet, though Les Bleus may decide the winner-takes-all clash with Italy is the time for him to be unleashed on Eueo 2008. But another barnstorming season with Pompey, and perhaps more silverware keeping him in the limelight, would surely cement his place in the French side, with Claude Makelele and Patrick Vieira not getting any younger.

Similar thoughts apply to Roma's apparent interest in Niko Kranjcar. Expect both him and Diarra to be in Pompey's team come the start of 2008-09. 

The Diarra-for-City story was one of the more eye-catching ones of the weekend where Pompey ins and outs were concerned.

Other claims included one that Peter Crouch will be bought by Pompey for £10m this week. The long-time target is repoertedly keen to get away from Anfield, and Rafa Benitez is being forced to drop his valuation all the time.

Pompey are keen on 16-year-old Le Havre midfielder Gauthier Mahoto.

Djimi Traore is back at Pompey after half a season on loan in France, though how long for is another matter.

And talk of Richard Dunne staying at Manchester City seems to be gathering pace, suggesting that Harry Redknapp may have to look elsewhere for defensive reinforcements.

Celtic defender Lee Naylor will not, according to weekend reports, be one of them.

Pompey's 2008-09 fixtures are out on Monday morning - keep logging on here for news of the calendar and reaction.

Have your say on all the latest from Fratton on our messageboard - see links below


 



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