Manchester United are ready to battle Tottenham for Portsmouth midfielder Lassana Diarra.

The People says new Spurs boss Harry Redknapp will face fierce competition from Manchester United for the tough-tackling Diarra, who can play across midfield and at rightback.

Old Trafford boss Ferguson failed in a £12m move on deadline day last August but the 23-year-old is his No.1 target in January.

United's interest raises questions about the long-term future of Owen Hargreaves, who is battling tendonitis of the knee.

It is believed a £12m bid would tempt Pompey to sell Diarra but Redknapp and Ferguson will have competition from Mark Hughes, who also has the midfielder on his Manchester City wish-list.