Rumour: Real Madrid set to hijack deal for Ligue 1 star
What's the rumour?
According to the Spanish outlet MARCA, Real Madrid are set to hijack a deal to sign Mariano Diaz from Olympique Lyon, just a year after they sold him to the French club.
In case you didn't know...
Mariano is a 25-year-old striker, who has previously played for both Real Madrid's youth team and senior team. The highly talented centre-forward announced himself in Spain as he bagged some important goals for Real Madrid, in LaLiga 2016-17, as they secured their 33rd league title.
Last summer, Los Blancos sold Mariano to Lyon for eight mil euros with a buy-back clause. Since joining the French side, the Castilla graduate has shown remarkable growth, scoring 18 goals and racking up 4 assists in the Ligue 1 last season.
Although Real Madrid Manager Julen Lopetegui and President Florentino Perez seemed convinced with their squad strength earlier in the season, the 4-2 Super Cup defeat they suffered at the hands of local rivals, Atletico Madrid, has acted as a wake-up call that may now pressure them to finally sign a striker.
The heart of the matter
Following the departure of Real Madrid's highest-ever goalscorer, Cristiano Ronaldo, the Spanish side need to make sure they fill the attacking void left behind by him.
Real Madrid are, reportedly, hoping to finally end their pursuit for a top striker this summer by bringing Mariano back to the club before the transfer deadline on August 31.
The Dominican-Spanish footballer was set to leave for Sevilla after agreeing a deal worth 30 mil euros. However, Real Madrid have now approached him for a Bernabeu return and could very well hijack the transfer deal, which would have made Mariano Sevilla's most expensive signing.
Real's desperate need for a striker, coupled with Mariano's fine form for Lyon, could lead to the signing being made official within the next 48 hours.
Rumour rating/probability: 8/10
MARCA is one of the best sources in Spanish football, especially when it comes to Real Madrid news.
Given Los Blancos' lack of depth in attack and the limited time they have to sign a forward before the transfer window closes, it looks highly likely that Mariano is their only feasible option right now.
Mariano is fast, agile, and possesses brilliant heading and finishing abilities, which make him the perfect choice for Los Vikingos.
After the UEFA Super Cup defeat, Real Madrid have reacted well, claiming six points out of six as they comfortably sit at the top of the LaLiga table. Lopetegui has helped the team bounce back and Real appear to be in good touch at the moment.
Mariano's arrival would ensure that there's no dearth of attacking options in the squad, and that Lopetegui has an option to rest Benzema, as and when needed, before big matches.