Lassana Diarra was unveiled as a Real Madrid player today after joining the La Liga side for an estimated fee of £20m. But the former Portsmouth midfielder told reporters that he turned down a more lucrative offer from Manchester City.
The 23-year-old said: "Were Manchester City keen to sign me? Yes, indeed. On a financial level, I would have earned a lot more. But Real are very attractive. I believe I have earned respect. I was in England for five years and learnt a lot of things there.”
The French international continued: "I became very attached to the Premier League. You can't leave it that easily. But Real came, and I was their priority. That makes you think. It is an honour." It remains to be seen if Portsmouth will reinvest the £20m in new players in January.