He was bought from Lyon for £22m in 2006 but after under-going knee surgery and missing the best part of a season, lost his number and starting place to Lassana Diarra in 08-09.
When United faced Lyon in the group stages in 04-05, Diarra scored the equalising goal against United before Ruud van Nistelrooy scored the winner.
After only playing in 18 games for Real Madrid in all competitions this season, it makes sense he would want to move on. However, with him turning 29-years-old in a few weeks, the legitimacy of the rumour has to be questioned.
“I am very flattered to be linked with a prestigious club like Manchester United,” said Diarra. “They are a top team and on a same level as Madrid. The Premier League is also the top league in the world, so let’s wait and see. I am not playing a lot and at the end of the season I will discuss my situation with all parties and a decision will be taken. I want to play week in, week out like all top players.”