Real Madrid

Mariano Diaz 'asks to leave' Real Madrid

Tom Gott
Mariano is ready to leave
Mariano is ready to leave / Soccrates Images/GettyImages

Mariano Diaz is said to have asked to leave Real Madrid this summer, leaving Carlo Ancelotti with somewhat of a conundrum on his hands.

The striker returned to Real in 2018 for £23m after a successful year at Lyon but has started just 12 La Liga games over the past four years, with Karim Benzema dominating the minutes and a handful of alternatives often being preferred to Mariano on the bench.

With one year left on his contract, Mariano's future is up in the air and Marca state that the 28-year-old has made it clear he wants to leave.

While losing Mariano would not be the biggest blow to Ancelotti, the problem is that he is not the only senior striker looking for a fresh start.

Luka Jovic wants to leave after a similarly unimpactful three years at the club - the £52.4m signing has scored three goals in 51 appearances in all competitions - while Borja Mayoral is also set to leave when he returns from his loan with Getafe as he enters the final year of his own contract.

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Should all three leave, Real would have no senior backup for Benzema, who will turn 35 in December.

It is suggested that Castilla striker Juanmi Latasa could be given the job of playing backup to Benzema. The 21-year-old netted 13 goals in 30 games for Raul's academy side and was rewarded with a nine-minute senior debut late last year.

If a more senior option is preferred, Real will have to find one with an EU passport, having already used up their non-EU squad spots on Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo and Eder Militao.