Real Madrid ace Mariano Diaz has reportedly emerged as the Plan B for Atletico Madrid if they miss out on re-signing Antoine Griezmann from Barcelona this summer.

According to a report from Spanish outlet El Gol Digital, Atletico Madrid are considering bolstering their attacking options with the signing of Barcelona superstar Antoine Griezmann this summer and have identified Real Madrid’s Mariano Diaz as an alternative should a move for the Frenchman fail.

Griezmann has been touted to leave Barcelona this summer as the Catalans eye massive wage cuts to the tune of €200 million in order to comply with La Liga’s salary cap while accommodating Lionel Messi’s new contract. As a result, many players have already left Camp Nou, with more exits expected, and Griezmann, who is one of the big earners at the club, may well be shown the exit doors.

This has alerted Atletico Madrid, who are keen on adding more firepower to their attack. After having won the La Liga title, it makes sense for Los Rojiblancos to strengthen their options at the top considering Luis Suarez is not getting any younger while Joao Felix completely underwhelmed in the 2020/21 term.

To that end, signing someone like Griezmann, who has tasted success with Atletico in the past before leaving the club for Barcelona, would be a good move. The reigning Spanish champions are already believed to have asked about the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner.

Griezmann to return to Atletico Madrid this summer? (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

Griezmann to return to Atletico Madrid this summer? (Photo by Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images)

But considering the costs that might be involved in pulling off the move, the Colchoneros are keeping their options open, with Mariano Diaz of Real Madrid eyed as an alternative.

The 27-year-old Real Madrid academy graduate has underwhelmed since returning to the club in 2018 after a year-long stint with Lyon, during which he scored 21 goals in 48 games. Since coming back to the Spanish capital outfit, though, Mariano has found game-time hard to come by and has failed to make the most of whatever little opportunities that have come his way over the course of the last three seasons.

With Luka Jovic now back after his loan spell and new manager Carlo Ancelotti intent on signing a new striker to compete with and provide cover for Karim Benzema, Mariano is living on borrowed time at Real Madrid. And, he could become the latest player after Marcos Llorente to make the cross-town jump to the Wanda Metropolitano, with Atletico Madrid seemingly keen on his services as a Plan B.

The Rojiblancos could end up favouring a move for the Real Madrid forward itself, given that a transfer involving Griezmann could prove to be a complicated affair. For now, Atletico Madrid have set sights on attackers from two of their biggest rivals to bolster their frontline, and it remains to be seen who they end up bringing in this summer.

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