Dramatic developments in Diarra’s Spurs move as player denies deal

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It was all looking rosy for Tottenham Hotspur fans yesterday when it was assumed that Real Madrid midfielder Lassana Diarra was on his way to White Hart Lane – but how events have changed.

Diarra has made a dramatic U-turn this morning telling Spanish paper AS: “The information about my exit is a lie. There is no agreement with Tottenham and I do not expect there to be one.”

Diarra was talking to Spanish reporters from AS in Nice, France where he is currently visiting a brother who has just undergone knee surgery.

Real Madrid have granted permission to Diarra to make the trip while the Spanish season is put on hold for a couple a weeks because of strike issues, and Diarra is not looking for a route out of Madrid but looking forward to his Madrid future.

Spurs were confident of signing the midfielder for a cut price fee of £10.5m, but it seems Harry Redknapp will have to focus elsewhere as he looks to strengthen the Spurs squad.

Xabi Alonso and Sami Khedira are ahead of Diarra in the pecking order at Real Madrid and his game time at the Bernabeu looks to be limited this season, which is why Spurs were so confident of landing the midfielder.

But the midfielder has made it clear that his future lies in Madrid and said: “I have a contract with Real Madrid until 2013 and my manager is Mourinho.”

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.