Date: 16th May 2006 at 10:14pm
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Lyon’s £24million-rated midfielder Mahamadou Diarra is reportedly the player Sir Alex Ferguson sees as the man to replace Roy Keane.

Villarreal’s Juan Roman Riquelme and Valencia’s Aldo Duscher have also been checked out by the Old Trafford boss.

Ferguson: ‘It’s not easy to replace Roy Keane, just as it wasn’t when Bryan Robson came to the end of his career. We looked for a new Bryan Robson and fortunately we were very lucky to get Roy Keane.

‘That scenario is on us again. We’ve got to get a Roy Keane and we’ve got to complete that quest in terms of getting that type of player who can influence not just the dressing room but also on the field

‘We have some ideas in mind in that respect, maybe not exactly a Roy Keane-type but players who would add to the midfield.

‘One of the benefits of Roy was, even though he was from the Republic of Ireland, it was like he was British, so there was no problem in terms of his culture and the language. He was a Manchester lad really, we brought him here from Nottingham at a young age.

‘In the present situation where we’re looking for a Roy Keane there is no-one, absolutely no-one, of that type in the English game.

‘There are some good players in the English game but not a Roy Keane-type.

‘So when we look abroad we have to take into consideration that he’s not going to be a Roy Keane in terms of his influence in the dressing room because of culture, language, things like that.

‘It will be a different type of player but hopefully it will be somebody who has the qualities that we need.’