Newcastle in the hunt for Gunner Diarra

January 8, 2008

Newcastle United are on the trail of Arsenal midfielder Lassana Diarra as manager Sam Allardyce looks to add creativity to his midfield.

The Magpies are yet to table an offer for the 22-year-old France international, but have made an enquiry about a player who has been in their sights for some time.

Former boss Glenn Roeder tried to bring the then Chelsea player to St James' Park during his time in charge, and now Allardyce is ready to test Arsene Wenger's resolve to hang on to him.

However, the city's evening newspaper, the Evening Chronicle, is reporting that Portsmouth are also on the former Le Havre man's trail.

Diarra joined the Gunners during the final hours of the summer transfer window, but has made only 13 appearances to date - and just eight of them starts.

However, he has played twice against Newcastle this season, featuring for the full 90 minutes of a 2-0 Carling Cup third round victory for the Londoners at the Emirates Stadium in September and then in a 1-1 Premier League draw on Tyneside last month.