Football transfer rumours: Lassana Diarra to West Ham or Manchester United?

Today’s festival of fluff is feeling optimistic

West Ham are determined to keep hold of their star man and will not let him go even if Marseille come knocking with a fist full of notes to the tune of £30m. Now you might think I’m talking about Pedro Obiang, a giant of a centre-back who’s gradually growing into the club’s most steady performer, but no, I’m on about Dimitri Payet. It says here that with Marseille convinced the player wants to return to the club he left just over 18 months ago for £12m, they’re willing to throw in France’s Lassana Diarra as part of the deal. But whoah, hang on! Who’s this apparently ready to steam over the hill waving a nice little late-career contract in the direction of the Marseille midfielder? It’s José Mourinho, the man who once thought Diarra so useful he flogged him to Portsmouth for £2m in 2007. And any potential transfer to Manchester United might see Morgan Schneiderlin – Mourinho’s Diarra de jour – end up at the Stade Vélodrome blinking in wild confusion while wondering whatever happened to 2016. It would almost certainly torpedo Marseille’s chances of getting Payet too. Cheers José.

Related: Transfer window January 2017: all the latest moves and news – interactive

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