• 'Allo Alou?

    French International midfielder Alou Diarra looks set to link up with ex-Liverpool team mate Sami Hyypia to see if he has what it takes to bolster the Albion's midfield.

    Hyppia knows Diarra from their Anfield days, although Diarra never played for the Merseysiders, being loaned out to French clubs before returning to France permanently to join Lens.

    Diarra enjoyed the best of his club career at Bordeaux between 2007 and 2011, during which he was also a regular in the French national team. He then moved to Marseille where his strong performances in the French First Division and Champions League ensured he represented France in Euro 2012, earning one of his 44 caps in the 1-1 draw with England in Donetsk.

    Diarra headed back across the Channel to join West Ham on a three year deal but it was a move that didn't seem to work for either party. He barely featured for the Hammers before being loaned out to Rennes for the second half of the 2012-13 campaign.

    He returned to London the following season determined to cement a place in the first team but suffered a serious knee injury early in the season. It was feared he could miss the whole of last season, but he recovered quicker than expected and returned to action in December. Once again, however, he was used sparingly and last appeared for West Ham in January as Manchester City inflicted a 3-0 Capital One Cup defeat to complete an aggregate 9-0 thrashing.

    Diarra's contract was terminated by mutual consent in the Summer with the Hammers saying: "West Ham United can confirm that the club and Alou Diarra have reached a mutual agreement to terminate the midfielder's contract and registration with immediate effect.

    "Diarra joined the Hammers in August 2012 but has found first-team opportunities limited and his release means he is now free to pursue opportunities elsewhere.

    "West Ham United would like to thank Alou for his efforts at the club and wish him well for his future career."

    Since then, despite training with Bordeaux and being linked with a number of clubs, he has yet to find a new home.

    Alou Diarra undoubtedly has the experience and steel required to help out Albion's young and inexperienced central midfield, but it remains to be seen whether he can gain the fitness that will be needed to deliver the short-term positive contribution that Albion are calling out for.

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