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The Romans are keen to sign a holding midfielder and have now set their sights on the Frenchman, while the San Siro side are pondering a swoop too

Lassana Diarra could be on his way out of Real Madrid as Roma have shown an interest in signing the holding midfielder, Il Corriere dello Sport reports.

The Frenchman was believed to be on the verge of joining Tottenham Hotspur last week, but Diarra denied that a move to Spurs was on the cards and he could now be headed for the Italian capital instead.

Roma are desperate to land a new holding midfielder before the summer transfer window slams shut.

They were previously linked with Madrid's Fernando Gago and had allegedly already opened talks with the Argentine's agent
. Nevertheless, Gago is apparently not their only option as they're now considering a late swoop for the 26-year-old Diarra.

The Stadio Olimpico side face stiff competition from AC Milan though in the race for Diarra's signature.

The Serie A champions are in the market for a new midfielder because of Mathieu Flamini's knee injury and they allegedly see Diarra as a good replacement.

There will be a meeting between head coach Massimiliano Allegri and vice-president Adriano Galliani later on Monday to discuss their transfer market strategy following the setback. With the San Siro club still due a €23 million payment from Kaka’s transfer to Real Madrid, they feel they can negotiate a deal with the Spaniards for Diarra.

The former Portsmouth star has a contract with Madrid until the summer of 2013, but Diarra is no longer part of head coach Jose Mourinho's plans and the Spanish giants are ready to cash in on him if a good offer comes in.

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