La Liga – Diarra unveiled at Real Madrid
Real Madrid have unveiled France international midfielder Lassana Diarra as their latest big-money signing.
Real president Ramon Calderon hailed “an exceptional player” who had a “great future” ahead of him.
“It’s an honour for me to be with Real Madrid,” said Diarra, wearing a Real shirt emblazoned with the nickname “Lass”.
The 23-year-old, who passed a medical on Monday, has signed a contract that will keep him with the club until 2013.
He joins the Spanish giants from Portsmouth for a reported fee of around £18 million.
Real have been on the lookout for a new midfielder since Mali international Mahamadou Diarra and Spain’s Ruben de la Red were both sidelined earlier this month for the rest of the season.
Diarra is the club’s second signing of the season after Dutch striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar moved from Ajax early this month.
The club has also brought back its midfielder Daniel Parejo, who was on loan to Championship side QPR.
Spanish champions Real have been plagued by injuries as well as poor form this season.
They sacked German coach Bernd Schuster earlier this month and replaced him with former Tottenham coach Juande Ramos but are still a huge 12 points behind league leaders and arch rivals Barcelona going into the winter break.
Meanwhile CSKA Moscow midfielder Milos Krasic is close to signing for the Spanish giants, according to reports in the Spanish daily Marca.
The paper did not indicate its source for the report on the 24-year-old Serbian international, who has been with CSKA since 2004.