Diarra leaves Marseille as talk of China move gathers pace

The France international has not started at the club since November, and is now a free agent after his contract was rescinded

Marseille have announced that they have terminated the contract of Lassana Diarra by mutual consent.

The former Real Madrid and Chelsea midfielder reportedly went on strike in order to force a move away from Stade Velodrome.

Diarra has been heavily linked with a move to the Chinese Super League, with Shandong Luneng - coached by Felix Magath - said to be in talks with his agent.

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The 31-year-old is now free to discuss terms with any interested club after having his contract rescinded.

"Olympique de Marseille and Lassana Diarra have terminated his contract by mutual consent, effective today," a club statement read.

"Having arrived without a transfer fee in the 2015-16 season, Lassana Diarra spent a season and a half at Olympique Marseille."

Diarra has made 12 appearances for Marseille this season but has not started a Ligue 1 match since the 4-0 defeat to Monaco on November 26.

He was linked with a possible move to Valencia before the close of the European transfer window on January 31.

Reports in France have claimed that Diarra is eager to secure a lucrative contract so that he can pay a fine of €10million to former club Lokomotiv Moscow, having failed in an appeal against a FIFA ruling which found him guilty of breaching his contract with the Russian club in 2014.

A Belgian court ruled in January that FIFA and the Royal Belgian Football Association (KBVB) must pay Diarra €6m in total after finding that they had infringed freedom of movement laws by claiming that any prospective club would have to jointly pay the fine to Lokomotiv.

FIFA's declaration saw Charleroi pull out of a move to sign Diarra in 2015, prompting the legal action.