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West Ham United hopeful of signing Lassana Diarra

Lassana Diarra

Sam Allardyce is hopeful of signing former Real Madrid midfielder Lassana Diarra after confirming the France international is training with the Hammers.

Diarra, 29, has been without a club since leaving Lokomotiv Moscow in August but is not too far away from match-fitness and could be turning out for West Ham inside a fortnight if the expected deal is completed in the coming days.

"He is training with us," Allardyce said.

"I'm not so sure whether we have finalized a deal yet but he is doing a little bit of training with us. The deal is very close to being finalized and on the basis of where we are with our squad and the injuries, once we have him fit he will be a very good addition based on his previous record as a footballer."

Diarra's spell in Moscow ended acrimoniously after reports he refused to train following a bust-up with manager Leonid Kuckuk but, despite not playing in almost nine months, Allardyce believes the ex-Chelsea, Arsenal and Portsmouth man could soon be part of his first-team squad at Upton Park.

"He won't be in any good shape in terms of being on the bench on Wednesday or on the bench on Saturday against West Brom," added Allardyce.

"But I certainly hope that, with a good few days training with the lads, he will be close in seven to 10 days if he finally signs the contract."

If the move comes off, it could be seen as something of a coup for the Hammers as Diarra brings experience and has also tasted trophy success, winning the FA Cup with both Chelsea and Portsmouth and the Spanish title at Madrid.


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