Houllier: Diarra 'wants to stay'

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Lyon coach Gerard Houllier has stated his belief that in-demand midfielder Mahamadou Diarra will remain with the French champions next season.

The Mali star has been strongly linked with a move to Real Madrid in recent weeks, with new coach Fabio Capello reportedly a huge fan of the powerful midfielder.

Diarra has also been mentioned in the same breath as Manchester United as Sir Alex Ferguson searches for a replacement for Roy Keane, but it seems as though some of Europe's biggest clubs are set to be disappointed this summer.

Houllier has now revealed that Diarra has decided to stay at Stade Gerland as the Ligue 1 champions look to mount an assault on the UEFA Champions League after their impressive performances in the last few seasons.

"He won't leave," Houllier told But.

"He wants to stay with OL to win the Champions League."

Real will most likely turn their attentions to other targets such as Juventus star Emerson should Houllier be proved correct, with Diarra resisting the lure of Europe's elite leagues for another year.