Chinese Super League Rumors: Shandong Luneng Eyes Marseille Midfielder Lassana Diarra
Chinese Super League club Shandong Luneng Taishan FC is reportedly targeting Marseille midfielder Lassana Diarra as the country's winter transfer window continues.
Diarra, 31, is rumored to be set to leave the Ligue 1 outfit during Europe's January transfer window. The former France international is supposed to be on the move to English Premier League squad Manchester United or La Liga outfit Valencia CF, but all speculated deals were eventually unsuccessful, according to TalkSPORT.
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With the Chinese winter window still open until the end of the month, French news outlets have stated that the Paris native could still be transferred this month, particularly to Shandong Luneng in the China top-flight. The report noted that Diarra's agent is in "advanced talks" with Taishan Dui "over a lucrative switch" which could happen anytime soon.
Meanwhile, Get French Football News indicated that Diarra is looking for a deal that will allow him to pay off a $10.6 million fine with Russian Premier League side Lokomotiv Moscow and Shandong Luneng is said to be prepared to settle that for the Frenchman.
In May last year, Diarra was penalized by the Court of Arbitration for Sport, an international body to settle sports disputes, for breach of contract when he moved from Lokomotiv to Marseille in the summer of 2015.
He has already served the 15-month suspension from paying professionally and receiving a salary, but the said fine is still not paid.
Shandong, who is currently managed by former Bayern Munich and Wolfsburg coach Felix Magath, barely avoided relegation by finishing two points above the bottom two spots in last season's CSL competitions.
The team finished third during the 2015 season and qualified for the AFC Champions League, which is one of Magath's goals in the news season starting this March.
Shandong has former Southampton striker Graziano Pellè, former Newcastle United winger Papiss Cissé, and Brazilians Gil and Diego Tardelli as its foreign players at the moment.
The Chinese Football Association allows three imports playing on the pitch at the same time during CSL matches. The CFA has previously permitted four foreign players playing simultaneously.