Due to the current injury troubles being endured in east London, the former Chelsea, Arsenal and Real Madrid midfielder could have been a key player for the Hammers, and the inability to secure his signature could mark the end of their chances of securing a top-six finish.
The 27-year-old has been without a club since August 2014, having cancelled his contract with Lokomotiv Moscow after a falling out with head coach Leonid Kuchuk. After refusing to train with the Russian club, the former France international spent time in England working with the Hammers, although he was linked with moves to Celtic, Newcastle United and QPR, as per the Scotsman.
An experienced Premier League player, Diarra could have been an important signing for West Ham as they search for FA Cup success and a good league finish, and Sam Allardyce has told the Standard the real reason why a deal was not completed.
“The fact we couldn’t get the Lassana Diarra deal across the line was probably more my fault than his,” Allardyce wrote in his column in the Standard.
“I thought it was a simple contract cancellation — but it wasn’t as straightforward as that. Maybe I should have investigated the circumstances more thoroughly before we negotiated for more than three weeks.
“It turned out it wasn’t a mutual contract cancellation between Lassana and his previous club, Lokomotiv Moscow, and didn’t fulfil the Fifa criteria on signing players outside the transfer window.”
There is no indication as to whether Diarra will continue to train with West Ham for the rest of the season, although Allardyce did suggest that he could move for the midfielder again in the summer.
The 60-year-old coach said: “We may well return to him in the summer. Lassana is a fine player who needs to resurrect his career and re-establish himself as the player he used to be.”