30 year old French defensive midfielder Lassana Diarra is set to join Marseille after being convinced by manager Marcelo Bielsa to join OM in a phone conversation in Spanish.
Last night, the player reached an agreement in principle to join OM, according to L’Équipe.
Barring an unlikely u-turn in the situation, the player should arrive at Marseille’s training centre Robert-Louis-Dreyfus in the coming hours to have a medical before signing a contract. The contract details were finalised last night and should see the player commit to 4 years with OM.
This was a transfer that Marseille have been working on for 4 weeks. The player up until recently had been unable to join a club after a dispute with his former side Lokomotiv Moscow meant that they would be owed €10m if he joined another club, despite having left the Russian side, according to a FIFA ruling.
Lassana Diarra was cleared last week by FIFA and the offers came raining in. Fenerbahce and 3 Premier League sides, including one Premier League side playing Champions League football, approached the player, but he rebuffed their advances. The player apparently wants to experience a new league, having never played in Ligue 1 before.
The person that convinced the player to join was however Marcelo Bielsa, despite lengthy phone conversations with Marseille President Vincent Labrune. A 20 minute phone conversation with Bielsa in Spanish.