Portsmouth accept Real bid for Diarra

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The Independent Football

Portsmouth have accepted a "substantial" bid from Real Madrid for midfielder Lassana Diarra.

The Premier League club said they had given the 23-year-old France international permission to speak with the Spanish powerhouse.

"We have always said that we could only allow our players to leave if we received an exceptional bid," Portsmouth said on their website. "We could not stand in the way of a move such as this for Lassana."

Spanish media have reported that Madrid will pay €10 million for Diarra.

Madrid are looking for a defensive midfielder to replace Mali international Mahamadou Diarra, who is sidelined for the season after undergoing knee surgery.

"Should the deal be completed, the club have already identified possible replacements," Portsmouth said.

Diarra signed a 3 1/2-year contract when he joined Pompey from Arsenal in January. He previously played for Chelsea and French side Le Havre. He has made 16 appearances for the French national team.

Madrid are currently 12 points behind Spanish leader Barcelona