European champions Real Madrid are have re-signed former striker Mariano Diaz, a year after selling him to Olympique Lyon.
Real Madrid have completed the signing of former striker Mariano Diaz from Ligue 1 side Olympique Lyon, the club have confirmed on their website.
The 25-year old centre-forward had been on Madrid’s books since 2011 and broke into the senior team in 2016. He went on to make only 14 first-team appearances, however, producing returns of 5 goals and 2 assists. Having moved to Lyon in the summer of 2017, in an €8 million deal, Mariano enjoyed a spectacular debut campaign netting 21 goals and setting up 7 more in 45 appearances.
Following his exploits in France, Mariano was expected to move to Sevilla this summer in a club-record deal after the Andalusians had reportedly agreed a fee in the range of €35-€40 million with the Ligue 1 club. However, Real Madrid have hijacked the transfer, by activating a first refusal option that they had inserted in the deal with Lyon while sanctioning the striker’s sale.
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas had indicated Mariano’s move to Madrid was on the verge of completion, earlier on Wednesday.
“Mariano told us that he absolutely wanted to leave, the offer from Sevilla arrived without being solicited,” he told reporters (h/t Goal.com). “With Sevilla, we found an agreement but then Real Madrid came and had an option to buy. We did not think they were going to use it, but they did it yesterday morning.”
Essentially though, since the Merengues still owned 35% of the player’s rights, they will be paying around €22 million, plus bonuses, to secure the signing of their former striker, instead of the €35 million Sevilla had offered.
Real Madrid have been in the market for a new attacking addition all summer, following the shock departure of Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese talisman completed a €100 million switch to Italian champions Juventus, leaving a gaping hole in Los Blancos attack.
While Karim Benzema has started off the new season on a strong note, new manager Julen Lopetegui was understood to be intent on bringing in another forward, given that the young Borja Mayoral was the only other out-and-out striker at his disposal.
Real Madrid were recently linked with a late €80 million swoop for PSG and Uruguay superstar Edinson Cavani. However, they seem to have turned to their former ward to reduce the goal-scoring burden on the likes of Benzema and Gareth Bale.
Mariano, who had represented Dominican Republic at the international level, before making himself available for selection for Spain, has failed to score a goal in his three appearances in the new season. However, considering his blistering form last term and the fact that he knows the club in and out, he could prove to be a shrewd signing for Madrid.
The 25-year old striker has signed a five-year deal with Los Blancos and is set to be unveiled at the Santiago Bernabeu on Friday afternoon.