The 30-year old defensive midfielder has made 74 appearances for Mali and signs pending the successful granting of a visa.

He has been a free agent since leaving Monaco at the end of last season following their relegation from Ligue 1.

Diarra made his name as a committed and tough-tackling midfielder alongside Michael Essien at Lyon, where he made 172 appearances and won four consecutive French League titles from 2003 to 2006.

He was then signed for Real Madrid by Fabio Capello in 2006 for a fee estimated at 22 million pounds, and went on to win La Liga in 2007 under the Italian and in 2008 under new coach Bernd Schuster.

Diarra also lifted the Copa del Rey and Spanish Super Cup while with Real.

The Malian will be a valuable addition to Martin Jol's Fulham squad, who have lost just once in their past five Premier League games and sit 11th in the table.