Real Madrid looking to offload Brahim and Mariano to Espanyol
The frozen-out pair have managed just 18 minutes of football at the Bernabéu this season and Espanyol have been offered them on loan.
Real Madrid outcasts Mariano and Brahim Díaz have been offered to Espanyol, according to reports in Spain. The striker and attacking midfielder have been frozen out at the Bernabéu by Zinedine Zidane and the club are looking to move them on in the January window.
Brahim joined Real Madrid from Manchester City less than a year ago and despite starting five Liga games at the end of the 2018-19 season, the 20-year-old has been little more than an observer this campaign, managing a total of 18 minutes of action.
Mariano has not even made it off the bench this season and has only been named on it once, a clear indication that Zidane does not intend to use him this season barring a spate of injuries. Despite being worth almost a goal a game for Real Madrid, the arrival of Luka Jovic and the form of Karim Benzema has left Mariano on the outside looking in. The 26-year-old was re-signed from Lyon after a prolific 2018-19 season in Ligue 1 and scored four goals in 19 appearances last campaign but has in all likelihood kicked his last ball for the club after rejecting a move to Schalke during the close season.
Espanyol and Madrid's loan arrangement
Espanyol have long been an incubator for Real Madrid loanees, having previously taken Lucas Vázquez, Marco Asensio and José Callejón off the Bernabéu’s hands and Madrid want to do the same with Brahim and Mariano, while sweetening the deal by also paying their wages.
Ideally Madrid would like to sell Mariano and will include a purchase option in any potential Espanyol deal. He would cost in the region of 15-20 million euros, but there have been few enquiries for the once-capped Dominican Republic striker. Al Rayyan have expressed an interest but may turn their attention back to Diego Costa, who is falling out of favour at Atlético.
Brahim, meanwhile, will be purely a loan with Madrid unwilling to give up on the youngster after shelling out 17 million euros plus add-ons to sign him just 10 months ago.