Writer: Ryan Kalisz
Date:Friday June 17 2011
Stoke are preparing an audacious bid to sign defensive midfielder and former Real Madrid star Mahamadou Diarra, but we face competition from other Premier League clubs such as Arsenal and Liverpool.
he 30-year-old was signed by the then manager Fabio CapelloSpanish giants from Lyon for a reported £17.5million in 2006, featuring in 122 games but only scoring 3 goals.
In 2008, Diarra was stretchered off the field during an international match after receiving a blow to his knee. I know the cliché is that some footballers can be literally blown by a gust of wind and they`ll fall over rolling, but I didn`t mean that when I say 'a blow to his knee`, it was actually a serious injury. He took the month off and made an appearance in late November, but was forced to undergo surgery after he aggravated his knee injury once more, ruling him out for the rest of the season.
During the latter stages of his spell at Real Madrid, the Mali international fell out of sought with the manager Jose Mourinho, especially with the arrivals of Sami Khedira and Xabi Alonso last summer.
Diarra left the Bernabeu in January to join Monaco, but reports suggest that he is unsettled and wants to move away. Tony Pulis believes that he can grab a bargain with the experienced defensive midfielder, and also believes that a move to the Brit would be a good move for the player himself.
I like the sound of this player, and he would perhaps bring the creativity needed along with the solidarity of a typical defensive midfielder. In comparison with our resident defensive midfielders Dean Whitehead and Diego Arismendi, I don`t think Diarra would have too much trouble to top the pecking order.
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Date:Friday June 17 2011
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Wilkinson handed contract until end of the year (Thursday July 30 2015)
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