Lauren backs Real Madrid's move for Diarra

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The Independent Football

Cameroon international Lauren believes Real Madrid have got themselves a potential star if they complete the signing of his Portsmouth team-mate Lassana Diarra.

Portsmouth confirmed they had accepted a "substantial" bid from Madrid for Lassana Diarra earlier this week and gave permission for the 23-year-old, currently sidelined by an ankle injury, to talk to the Spanish giants.

Madrid, who are looking to bolster their midfield after seeing Mahamadou Diarra and Ruben de la Red ruled out for the season, have yet to confirm a deal has been struck with Diarra, but Lauren feels the Primera Liga champions will not regret bringing the French international on board.

Lauren has spent the last year playing alongside Diarra at Fratton Park and he believes the ex-Chelsea and Arsenal man offers more than both his namesake at the Bernabeu, Mahamadou and former Madrid defensive midfielder Claude Makelele.

"He reminds me a lot of Makelele. For his physique, for the way he moves on the field and for his position, because he steals a lot of possession in the middle of the pitch," said Lauren, who played for Levante and Real Mallorca in Spain before moving to England with Arsenal in 2002.

"But there is a big difference between them, and that is that Lassana has also got a great long pass. As well as that, he takes up good positions in attack. He is a very complete footballer. Madrid will get themselves an ace."

Regarding comparisons to Mali international Mahamadou Diarra, the man whose loss Madrid are looking to fill, Lauren added in Spanish newspaper AS: "They are totally different. Lassana, for me and with all due respect, is much more complete. Technically he is very good. The Diarra of Madrid is more defensive."

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