Real Madrid have found a new team for backup striker Mariano Diaz.
Mariano Diaz returned to Real Madrid in 2018-2019 after a successful 2017-2018 season with Lyon, scoring 21 goals that year for the Ligue 1 side. But Mariano played a limited role behind Karim Benzema as the backup striker and then found it impossible to obtain playing time in 2019-2020 after Real acquired Luka Jovic as their striker of the future.
Still, Mariano never stopped working hard on the rare occasion he was brought in as a substitute, and he got his moment when he scored within seconds of being subbed in against Barcelona to seal a 2-0 win.
Real Madrid need to make movest this summer, so all veteran players who aren’t a key part of the team, such as Mariano, have been put up for sale. Interest in Mariano has been shockingly lukewarm for a player of his caliber, but Los Blancos have found a landing spot.
Per a report from The Record in Portugal, Real Madrid and Benfica have reached an agreement for Mariano. Offering more details, AS says that they have agreed to terms on a one-year loan deal that would include an option to buy after the 2020-2021 season.
Real Madrid, Benfica still need to agree on Mariano Diaz’s salary
The option to buy would reportedly be for 18 million euros.
Benfica wouldn’t have to pay for the loan, but The Record reports that there is one issue related to salary that will need to be resolved before a deal is complete. Mariano makes 4.5 million euros per year at Real Madrid, and it seems like Benfica can’t afford to pay his full salary.
Hopefully, the three parties can come to an agreement on Mariano’s salary, because Benfica looks like a good opportunity for the 27-year-old. He is in the prime of his career and can no longer waste more time sitting on the bench at the Santiago Bernabeu when he could be banging in goals for a Champions League-caliber club like Benfica.
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Madridistas know how talented Mariano is, and they’ve also admired his dedication. Mariano had the opportunity to take a loan deal in 2019-2020, but he elected to stay to fight for his place. Here’s to hoping he gets a loan move that checks off all the boxes for him and flourishes.