Finally rediscovering top European football in Marseille last season after some years in the Russian wilderness with Anzhi Makhachkala and Lokomotiv Moscow, Lassana Diarra is once again a free agent.
A complicated affair with Marseille regarding a gentleman’s agreement and a transfer to China that never happened saw him released of his contract midway through this season, and the defensive midfielder is now in Paris, driving a Smart car.
Explaining the situation in a lengthy exposé in their weekly magazine, France Football go back over the player’s strange career, from his difficult times at Arsenal to his current situation, with a move to the MLS potentially on the cards.
Spending only six months under Arsène Wenger at the Emirates, the now 32-year-old moved to North London after seeing his game time stifled at Chelsea due to Claude Makélélé’s important role at Stamford Bridge.
However, his arrival was anything but smooth, with France Football revealing Wenger played Diarra a nasty trick when he was about to sign for Arsenal on the last day of the 2007 summer transfer window.
According to the French magazine, the defensive midfielder was extremely pleased with the offer put in front of him by the Gunners, even if it meant taking a small wage loss from his Chelsea deal, as the promised time on the pitch was what the player was looking for.
Yet, with only a few hours to go on transfer deadline day, when Diarra was ready to sign the deal, he discovered the wages offered by Arsenal were far below what he had been promised previously.
Trying to call Arsène Wenger for clarification, the French international was (perhaps unsurprisingly) unable to get hold of the manager.
With time running and a desperation to play football added to the fact staying at Chelsea was nigh on impossible, the player signed the deal anyways.
The rest is history: six months later, barely used, the player moved to Portsmouth.
Maybe that’s why Arsenal are now looking for a director of football?
— Sport Witness (@Sport_Witness) March 13, 2017