Report: Ex-Liverpool and West Ham midfielder Alou Diarra close to joining Chicago Fire

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Former France captain Alou Diarra is understood to be on the verge of sealing a move to MLS.

The Chicago Fire look set make another big-name addition, with L’Equipe reporting that the MLS club are on the verge of signing former Liverpool and West Ham United midfielder Alou Diarra.

Diarra, 33, has been a free agent since leaving West Ham in the summer, having endured a nightmare spell at Upton Park.

Signed from Marseille in August 2012, the ex-France captain made just three Premier League appearances during his first few months in east London, before requesting to leave the club in the winter transfer window after stating that his move was “a waste of time”.

Loaned to Rennes for the remainder of the 2012-13 campaign, he returned to the Hammers in the summer but, after being granted a clean slate, suffered cruciate ligament damage in just the second game of the season.

While he would make an unexpected comeback in December 2013, the Hammers opted to grant the unsettled Frenchman his release in Juy, despite having another 12 months left on his deal, but he has been unable to find a new team since.

He most recently trained with Brighton & Hove Albion in December, having been on the books of Liverpool with then-manager Sami Hyypia between 2002 and 2005, but a contract failed to materialise during his time on the South Coast.

It appears as though the 44-times capped World Cup veteran might have finally found his next destination, however, with talks said to have been held over the weekend with the Fire, who are currently in England for the first part of their preseason training.

The club have executed a dramatic offseason rebuild following 2014’s disappointing ninth-place finish in the Eastern Conference, with the star signing being Scotland international Shaun Maloney from Wigan Athletic.

In addition, fellow forwards Kennedy Igboananike and David Accam have also arrived from Swedish sides AIK and Helsingborg, respectively, while former Southampton favourite Guilherme “Guly” do Prado also joined last month.

Amid the influx of attacking talent, however, the team are still somewhat light in the midfield, prompting them to look to the once-highly-regarded Diarra to provide some bite in the centre of the pitch.

Ex-Tottenham Hotspur product Jamie O’Hara had been in talks in October following a successful trial, before opting to return to England to sign with Blackpool, but it looks like another former Premier League man could be the answer to their needs.

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