Fergie planning Lyon trip

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Sir Alex Ferguson is being tipped to attend Lyon's final game of the Ligue 1 season on Saturday.

The Manchester United manager is plotting a summer swoop for midfielder Mahamadou Diarra, with the Mali star emerging as The Red Devils' leading target during the close season.

As has long been anticipated, United will table a bid for the African ace and recent noises coming out of Real Madrid suggest the Old Trafford outfit are clear favourites to land their man.

However, Lyon have stressed their determination to keep Diarra with the 24-year-old a key part of Gerard Houllier's plans.

The ex-Vitesse Arnhem man will be in action against Le Mans on the last day of Le Championnat and French sources claim Ferguson will strive to talk to Stade Gerland officials in preparation of a concrete offer.

Meanwhile, Houllier has revealed there is some tension between him and chairman Jean-Michel Aulas.

The former Liverpool chief did not appreciate Aulas's comments after the 4-0 defeat to Lille.

"Is it difficult to work with Jean-Michel Aulas?" he said in L'Equipe. "Yes, sometimes.

"It is much different than what I am used to experiencing. It is complex.

"It is really a different working method but that method works fine.

"I didn't like his reaction in the press. When he stated he regrets my selections at Lille, I have felt a kind of lack of constraint, while we are champions with 80 points.

"It is just like a company director that doesn't support his managerial staff.

"It is the same with the players. I prefer him to bawl in the changing room and defend them in the press."