Manchester Utd. Plans Bid for Real Madrid's Lassana Diarra: Soccer Roundup

The following is a roundup of soccer stories from U.K. newspapers, with clickable links to the Web.

United Wants Diarra

Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson is plotting a 12 million-pound ($18.5 million) bid for Real Madrid midfielder Lassana Diarra, the Sun reported.

Ferguson wants to strengthen his midfield with Owen Hargreaves struggling to overcome injury problems that have sidelined him for two years and Paul Scholes, 36, nearing the end of his career, the newspaper said.

Diarra, 25, moved to Real from Portsmouth two years ago. His chances this season have been limited as the Spanish team signed German national team players Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira.

Wolves Plan Keane Reunion

Wolves are looking at the possibility of bringing Tottenham striker Robbie Keane back to Molineux, more than 11 years after he quit the club, the Daily Mirror reported.

Manager Mick McCarthy feels signing the Ireland international may be difficult because of competition from other teams and costs associated with the move, the newspaper said.

“There are a lot of factors that need to be looked at,” McCarthy was cited as saying. “It is not just a question of whether I just want someone.”

Kaka to Chelsea?

Brazilian forward Kaka is “90 percent” certain to join Chelsea if he cannot get into the Real Madrid first team following an injury layoff, the Daily Mail reported.

Kaka has been sidelined since August after undergoing knee surgery. In his absence, Ozil has been given Kaka’s attacking midfield role.

Italian agent Ernesto Bronzetti is quoted by the Mail as saying Real’s 70 million-euro player would be priced out of a return to Italy, with champion Inter Milan reportedly interested.

“If he were to leave in June, he has a 90 per cent chance of going to Chelsea and not Inter,” the Mail cited Bronzetti as saying.

Balotelli Staying

Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini says striker Mario Balotelli won’t be sold in the January transfer window, the Telegraph reported.

Mancini said the 20-year-old is struggling to adapt to life in England after joining from Inter Milan before the start of the season.

“I think maybe he could be homesick because he’s 20 and it’s his first time away from his family and it’s normal to miss your family,” Mancini said after Balotelli scored three times in yesterday’s 4-0 win over Aston Villa. “I don’t think it’s a long-term problem.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Tariq Panja in London at tpanja@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Christopher Elser at celser@bloomberg.net.

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