Monday, 25th July, 2011

Former Real Madrid defensive midfielder Mahamadou Diarra is a man in demand, but has not yet decided where he will ply his trade next season.

The Mali international is a free agent after Monaco’s relegation from Ligue 1 last season and is considering a number of offers.

Those offers come from Italy and England, where Stoke City have been mooted as holding an interest. A shock return to Lyon though, the club Diarra played for between 2002 and 2006 has not been completely ruled out.

A tough-tackling and dominant midfield enforcer, at 30 years old, Diarra believes he has many more years ahead of him at the highest level.

The Mali man began his career with Greek team OFI Crete before moving to Holland with Vitesse.

Diarra’s career really took off at the Stade Gerland however, before Real Madrid came calling: The midfielder spent five years at the Bernabeu.

A switch to Stoke would surely appeal to Diarra, however the Potters will face significant opposition for his signature and were Lyon to firm up their interest then Tony Pulis’ side could well lose out.

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