LaLiga news: Real Madrid sign Cristiano Ronaldo replacement
What's the story?
Real Madrid has re-signed Mariano from Lyon after the forward spent only 14 months playing in Ligue 1. The deal, worth approximately €23 million, was announced on Real Madrid's official website and Twitter account in the early hours of the morning.
In case you didn't know...
Mariano, a player of Dominican-Spanish decent who chose to represent the Dominican Republic at international level spent part of his development at Real Madrid. The 25-year-old played for one season in the Los Blancos youth setup before moving through the senior ranks between 2012 and 2017.
The forward played 46 times for Real Madrid C, 44 times for Real Madrid B, and made eight appearances for the first team. Despite his potential and the effort which Real Madrid put into his development, Mariano moved to Lyon in June 2017 for a fee of approximately €8 million.
The heart of the matter
While Los Blancos did not insert a buy-back clause into the transfer, there was a stipulation in the agreement that meant the Madrid club would receive 35% of any future sale or Mariano. Due to this stipulation, Real Madrid paid a discounted price for Mariano who is valued at around €35 million.
The tall striker has enjoyed a great spell at Lyon, scoring 18 goals in just 37 appearances. It is this form which has encouraged Real Madrid to move for his services after a brief stint away from the Bernebeau. The club has been seeking a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo and while Mariano is nowhere near that level yet, Julen Lopetegui believes there is much more to come from the Dominican international.
Real Madrid welcomed the return of Mariano with an official statement reading:
Real Madrid C. F. and Olympique Lyonnais have agreed a deal for the player Mariano, who will be with the Whites for the next five seasons.
The player will be presented on Thursday 31st August, at 1:30pm CEST in the Santiago Bernabéu presidential box.
Mariano will then take to the Santiago Bernabéu pitch wearing the Real Madrid C. F. kit. He will then speak to the press in the press room.
We will likely see Mariano provide competition for Karim Benzema this season with appearances mainly coming from the bench. However, if the 25-year-old can continue his form from over the past 12 months, it is possible that he can establish himself as a first-team player and lead the Madrid attack.