Race to land Diarra

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Marseille and Newcastle are reportedly interested in landing the services of Chelsea's defensive midfielder Lassana Diarra.

The French Under-21 international is rated highly, but he is struggling to make the breakthrough at Stamford Bridge.

Marseille director of sport Jose Anigo is reported to have met with the player's agent and proposed a move for Diarra in the January transfer window could materialise.

Chelsea could allow the player to go on loan until the end of the season in order to gain regular first team football.

Marseille are said to be favourites to snap up Diarra but they face stiff competition not only from Premiership outfit Newcastle but also from Lille.

Meanwhile, Marseille coach Albert Emon has been impressed by DC United's Brian Carroll, who has been on trial with the club since Sunday.

Emon is currently searching for a defensive midfielder to replace the recently departed Sabri Lamouchi.

"He has technical skills, seems comfortable and understands well what I ask him to do," Emon told the club's website.

"This player has been recommended to us and has attracted interest already from a number of clubs.

"We are going to take our time to decide and watch his game.

"We will decide after 10 days."

Injured striker Djibril Cisse took part in a match for the first time this season during a Marseille training session on Tuesday.

However, Emon confirmed he will not resume playing for several weeks.

"We will continue to follow the deadline we set. I will ask him what he felt," the coach said.

"We will see how things will evolve during the next few training sessions."

Cisse will meet with a doctor in December to assess his progress.