Hat-trick hero Mariano could still go out on loan: six possible destinations
Despite his three goals and sterling performance in the Copa del Rey versus Cultural, it's still likely that Mariano could leave Real Madrid on loan in January. Here are six possible destinations.
Despite playing little part in the Real Madrid first team so far this season, Mariano has not resigned to playing second-fiddle behind primary strikers Karim Benzema and Álvaro Morata, and his hat-trick against Cultural in the Copa del Rey will give Zinedine Zidane some food for thought.
However, the French coach has – despite Mariano’s sterling performance on Wednesday evening – failed to rule out the possibility of the Spanish-Dominican forward leaving the club on loan in January. The 23-year old is hoping to stay in Madrid, but that will depend on the talks he has with Zidane over the next few weeks.
Here are six teams that will be waiting in the wings if Los Blancos do decide to send him out.
It’s not the first time that a team from Spain’s east coast has circled around Mariano. Villarreal wanted him in the summer but in the end opted for Santos Borré. At Valencia though they haven’t yet been able to replace the sale of Alcácer to Barça. Between Munir, Rodrigo and Santi Mina, they have only scored six goals. One thing that weighs in the balance of Valencia is that the club could easily cover half of the player’s €2m annual salary that Madrid might likely require.
The idea of signing another tank-like striker has been in the minds of the Sevilla directors for some time. During the summer they cast out their net to try and capture Mariano but in the end settled for Vietto, Franco Vázquez, and Ben Yedder. Given Sevilla’s stature, the club would likely be Mariano’s favoured destination. That said, for the same reason, it’s probable that Los Blancos would not be keen to let their player go to a direct LaLiga title rival.
The injury to Charles at the end of October means that Malaga are in the market for another attacker. In favour of the side from Andalucia would be their great relationship with Madrid (they already have Diego Llorente on loan).
Deportivo are the latest to enter the race for Mariano’s signature. Although Joselu has come back from his serious knee injury, he’s still not 100% and Ryan Babel is not the type of striker who they can rest responsibility on to provide regular goals. While club mediators have already made contract with Mariano’s agents, they have the disadvantage of being the last to join the line.
The club from the south of Madrid fought the hardest to convince Mariano to join them in the summer transfer window. Leganés even made a pre-agreement with Madrid but ultimately Mariano didn’t want to go. However, Leganés offer a persuasive package of perks: a stable club away from the relegation battle, an agreeable environment, and in a place close enough that Mariano wouldn’t need to move house.
Alavés made an offer in August, and even though on-loan striker Deyverson is delivering for them, they wouldn’t be averse to returning for Mariano in January – especially given what a revelation Marcos Llorente has been this season since arriving from Madrid on a season-long deal. The presence of Llorente is another factor in Alavés’ favour – they are good mates from the RM Castilla dressing room and that would help Mariano feel at home much quicker.
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