Diarra quashes Tottenham talk
Real Madrid midfielder Lassana Diarra has ruled out a move to Tottenham Hotspur amid reports the clubs were close to agreeing a transfer fee.
Diarra, who played under Spurs manager Harry Redknapp at Portsmouth, had been linked with a €12 million switch to White Hart Lane to be reunited with his former boss.
But on Thursday, the 26-year-old poured cold water on such claims, telling AS: "The information about my departure is a lie. There is no agreement with Tottenham and I do not think there will be."
Speaking at Nice airport, having been given permission by Madrid to travel to see his brother who has just undergone knee surgery, Diarra added: "I have a contract with Real Madrid until 2013 and Jose Mourinho is my coach.''
Former Arsenal midfielder Diarra first worked with Mourinho at Chelsea, before a woeful spell at Arsenal ended and he went to Portsmouth and then on to Real Madrid for €20 million in January 2009.
The France international featured in 26 Primera Division games and 10 Champions League matches for the capital club, and also helped Mourinho's side win the Copa del Rey last season.
Meanwhile, Sergio Ramos has thrown his support behind beleaguered boss Mourinho after reports in the Spanish media suggested he was on the verge of walking out on the club due to a perceived lack of support from the board in the ongoing row with Barcelona.
But Spain defender Ramos remained clear in his backing for the former Porto, Chelsea and Inter Milan boss.
He told Marca: "We (the players) have done nothing wrong but we do not regret anything and in football you cannot live in the past.''
On Mourinho, he added: "He trusts us and we trust him. Mourinho has the full confidence of the staff. He leads the group and we are willing to do what he says. He will always have our support.''
The Spanish Football Federation announced on Tuesday the Portuguese was under investigation for his role in a mass brawl at the end of last week's Spanish Super Cup against Barca.
The growing tensions have seen him become increasingly outspoken about the Catalans and their practices, with talk of his departure coming on the back of the latest blow-up.
The issue has also led to suggestions it may disrupt the harmony between the Madrid and Barca players in the Spain squad which won Euro 2008 and the 2010 World Cup.
But Ramos denies it will be a problem and also backed Madrid and Spain captain Iker Casillas to resolve any lingering tension.
"The past will not have any bearing on the performance of the squad and the good feeling that has always reigned,'' he said. "I have not spoken but it is normal that Iker, as skipper of the Spain national team, is at the helm on this sort of thing.''