Stop me if you've heard this one before: Tottenham Hotspur are linked with Olympique Marseille defensive midfielder Lassana Diarra, who could leave the Ligue 1 club on a free transfer this summer.
If you wonder why I'm (*snicker*) laughing about this (*guffaw*), you have to go back a few years. The tl;dr version of it is that Lassana Diarra has been almost continually linked with a move to Tottenham hotspur for about five years now. It's gotten to the point where it's comical: Tottenham have a need for another defensive midfielder, and then the links to Diarra just pop up out of nowhere like mushrooms. It's actually funny.
To get the last moderately serious connection between Diarra and Spurs, you have to go all the way back to the Harry Redknapp era. Back in 2011, it looked honestly pretty likely that Spurs were interested in signing Diarra from his then-club Real Madrid for a price of around £10m, a not-insignificant sum back then. Diarra would've been a great asset to Redknapp's side, as he was a very good player, but was stuck on the bench at Madrid. Obviously, it didn't happen, Spurs went on to sign Scott Parker, and Lass went on to play for a couple of clubs in Russia before returning to his native France this season.
What's hilarious is that if you look at that linked article that we wrote back in 2011, we were talking about how we were constantly linked to Lassana Diarra every season... back in 2011. And the rumors just didn't stop. Death, taxes, Lassana Diarra.
Bringing this back to the present, Lass has actually had a good season for OM, enough so that he's back playing with the French national team. And due to a contract foible, he's eligible to leave on a free this summer. L'Equipe, which hides the bulk of the article behind a paywall, says that he wants to come back to the Premier League. Dust off the Tottenham rumors, English media!
Spurs also keen on Lassana Diarra, superb for Marseille this term. Diarra available on free thanks to clause in contract (L'Equipe) #THFC— Matt Spiro (@mattspiro) April 14, 2016
Lass is a perfectly fine player, and Spurs certainly need either backup or competition for Eric Dier, but he's 31 years old and well past the point where any Champions League caliber team should start to expect diminishing returns from him. Mauricio Pochettino is on a youth movement kick and, according to Lyall Thomas today (in a tweet about Mario Mandzukich), Spurs aren't considering signing anyone over 26.
Spurs' policy is U24s. Certainly not over 26. Unlikely to change even with CL football. MM is 29. Best behind him. https://t.co/qH5fGb0lvr— Lyall Thomas (@SkySportsLyall) April 14, 2016
So ha ha, English footballing media, we get it. Excellent joke. But seriously, no, there's absolutely no way Spurs have any interest in Lassana Diarra. Lass may end up back in the EPL, but it won't be with Tottenham. This is #batcountry in almost every sense of the term.