New hope for Spurs as Wenger ditches Diarra

Last updated at 16:17 09 January 2008

Tottenham are set to renew their interest in Lassana Diarra after the Arsenal midfielder was left out of tonight's Carling Cup semi-final between the two sides at Emirates Stadium.

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The 22-year-old only arrived from Chelsea in August and has since voiced his concern at his perceived lack of first-team opportunities.

Lassana Diarra

Manager Arsene Wenger had made it clear he wanted Diarra to stay and fight for his place, but the French coach could now be willing to allow the unsettled player to leave - providing the right deal can be reached.

Diarra - who had started all three of Arsenal's previous Carling Cup ties this season against Newcastle, Sheffield United and Blackburn - was conspicuous by his absence from the Gunners' 16-man squad for the first leg, which was revealed on the club's website this afternoon.

Spurs were initially told Arsenal would not sell one of their first-team squad to their north London rivals.

Newcastle, Everton, Blackburn and Portsmouth are also ready to move for the midfielder although he would prefer to stay in London.

Should Wenger decide that Diarra must not be sold to another Premier League team he may interest French champions Lyon back in his own country.

Abou Diaby, also said to be seeking more regular football, Brazilian youngster Denilson and the experienced Gilberto are all included in what is again a young squad.

Striker Robin van Persie is likely to feature after having recovered from a muscular problem which has sidelined him since the Premier League win over Chelsea on 16 December.