Newcastle United have revived their interest in Real Madrid attacker Mariano Diaz as a realistic January reinforcement, according to reports in Spain.
Mariano was linked with Newcastle in the summer, but they ultimately did not sign a new striker. Instead, their only signing for the senior side was Joe Willock after his loan spell from Arsenal. With their rich new owners now in place, though, expectations are rising for the next transfer window.
Newcastle have already been linked with a range of high-profile players. The challenge will be to convince them of their sporting project in the immediate future, rather than anything financial. With that in mind, it may take time for the genuine big names to join them.
But they will still be able to attract players of better pedigree than they were doing before. Now, they could give Mariano something to think about again in January.
Finding a new striker would be useful for a Newcastle side currently reliant on Callum Wilson, Joelinton and Dwight Gayle up top. Wilson has struggled with some injury issues, Joelinton has disappointed and Gayle is the wrong side of 30.
Therefore, the Magpies may be on the lookout for a centre-forward as a priority. They have ambitiously been linked with the likes of PSG’s Mauro Icardi, but may have to lessen their expectations in the short-term.
Aware that they may not be able to attract elite talent mid-season, Newcastle are thus considering other options for January, according to Todofichajes.
The Spanish outlet believes they will be back in for Mariano in January to bridge the gap until they can acquire someone of the very top level.
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Mariano still has decent pedigree himself. He rose through the ranks with Real Madrid, before leaving to play for Lyon in 2017. After one season in which he scored 21 goals from 45 games, Los Blancos bought him back.
Since then, the one-time Dominican Republic international has had to settle for a backup role. His goal tallies in his three seasons since returning to Spain have been four, one and one.
With more faith, though, there is a chance he could recapture the form he showed with Lyon. Madrid are not willing to grant him that space, though. Consequently, they are hoping to cash in during the January transfer window.
According to Todofichajes, Madrid’s priority for the winter is to sell Mariano for around €10m. That figure is certainly now affordable for Newcastle, who could also match his €4.5m annual net salary.
As such, there is now “momentum” behind his exit from Real, which was something he did not consider in the summer despite it being made clear he would not have space under Carlo Ancelotti.
Newcastle are the driving force behind his possible departure. They will be waiting for the next transfer window to open while they weigh up their options.
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Mariano is not the only Madrid player to be linked with Newcastle since their takeover. Claims recently arose about potential interest in Gareth Bale.
The former Tottenham winger will be out of contract at the Bernabeu next summer. At that point, he will be considering his future – especially with the 2022 World Cup on the horizon.
Bale will be hoping to lead Wales at that tournament, by which time the identity of his club will be unclear.
Newcastle could try to tempt him, though, according to Defensa Central.
They would have to weigh up whether he would be a worthwhile investment given his injury record. But he would be a high-profile capture for a club looking to go on the rise.
While they wait to mull over that, though, Mariano could make an earlier transfer to Tyneside if the club decide to go ahead.