Newcastle United 'hijack Celtic's Lassana Diarra deal'

Newcastle United are poised to beat Celtic to the signature of former Arsenal and Chelsea midfielder Lassana Diarra on a free transfer, according to reports.

Newcastle United are reportedly looking to steal a march on Celtic by sealing a deal for Lassana Diarra on a free transfer.

The People claims that the ex-Portsmouth midfielder flew to Scotland for talks with the Hoops with a view to a two-year deal, but his former club, Lokomotiv Moscow, failed to release his registration.

However, Newcastle are understood to be keen on a last-minute agreement with Diarra and hope that the lure of Premier League football will be enough to attract the player to St James' Park.

Diarra, who has also previously played for Chelsea and Arsenal in England, is said to prefer a short-term contract and United are apparently poised to offer him a deal until the end of this season.

One player who could be leaving Newcastle is Cheick Tiote, with the Ivory Coast international attracting interest from Serie A side Napoli.

Anzhi Makhachkala's French midfielder Lassana Diarra walks on the pitch during the UEFA Europa League football match between Udinese Calcio and FC Anzhi Makhachkala at Udine's 'Friuli' comunal stadium on September 20, 2012
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City23202167175062
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd23155348163250
3Liverpool23138254282647
4Chelsea23145441162547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs23135546212544
6Arsenal23116641301139
7Burnley239771920-134
8Leicester CityLeicester238783432231
9Everton2376102538-1327
10Watford2375113342-926
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2367102941-1225
12Crystal Palace2367102133-1225
13Bournemouth2366112435-1124
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2366111939-2024
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2365122131-1023
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2358101729-1223
17Southampton2349102334-1121
18Stoke CityStoke2355132350-2720
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom23310101830-1219
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
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