AS Roma are reportedly plotting a January move for Real Madrid forward Mariano Diaz if they miss out on the signing of Barcelona’s Martin Braithwaite.

According to a report from El Nacional, Real Madrid striker Mariano Diaz has emerged as a transfer target for Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma in the ongoing transfer window.

Since returning to Real Madrid for his second stint in 2018 after a year away at Olympique Lyon, the centre-forward has struggled for meaningful game-time. Indeed, Mariano has been behind Karim Benzema and Luka Jovic in the order of preference and has made just nine starts in La Liga since the 2018/19 campaign, one of which has come in the ongoing season.

With Real Madrid reportedly planning to bring in Kylian Mbappe in January itself, Mariano’s prospects of getting minutes under Carlo Ancelotti are set to get much bleaker.

So, an exit in the ongoing transfer window could very well be on the cards for the 28-year-old, with West Ham United having been credited with an interest in him. AS Roma have emerged as prospective suitors for the Real Madrid forward as Mourinho is keen on strengthening his attacking arsenal after struggles in the first half of the campaign.

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The Portuguese tactician is ready to axe Real Madrid loanee Borja Mayoral and send him back to the Santiago Bernabeu, while Eldor Shomurodov has not done well. Therefore, the mercurial manager wants to add another striker to his roster in the mid-season trading period.

A move for Barcelona’s Martin Braithwaite is being considered, but Mourinho prefers a move for Mariano. The Portuguese tactician will have some knowledge of the 28-year-old given that the forward was coming through the youth ranks at Real Madrid when Mourinho was manager.

Considering that Carlo Ancelotti has hardly used him, it is expected that Real Madrid will not stand in the way of an exit should a sizeable offer come along. Mariano has eighteen months left on his contract with the Spanish capital club. And even though Mourinho favours him, the AS Roma board are leaning towards a move for Braithwaite as they believe that the Barcelona forward will be cheaper.

So, it remains to be seen whether a move to Italy materialises for the Real Madrid striker or if he continues at Real Madrid for the foreseeable future.

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