LIGUE 1

Real Madrid: Mariano Díaz a target for former club Lyon

Mariano Díaz and Hatem Ben Arfa, both formerly of Lyon, are on the Ligue 1 side's radar ahead of the January transfer window.

Real Madrid: Mariano Díaz a target for former club Lyon
JESUS ALVAREZ ORIHUELA DIARIO AS

Lyon face an uncertain new year. The French club have finished 2019 down in 12th in Ligue 1, have a head coach, Rudi García, who doesn't have the backing of the fans and have seen their two best players - Memphis Depay and Jeffe Reine-Adélaïde - ruled out with injury for the rest of the season. The January transfer window will have a crucial influence on the side's fortunes in the coming months.

Two former Lyon players in French club's sights...

Having shown an interest in several major players, such as Thomas Lemar (a deal ruled out because of Atlético Madrid's financial demands), Olivier Giroud, Kevin Gameiro and Gedson Fernandes, the French newsaper L'Équipe says Lyon have now turned their attentions to two footballers who have pulled on the club's shirt before: Mariano Díaz and Hatem Ben Arfa.

Lyon want Díaz loan, out get Ben Arfa to drop wage demands

A fringe figure at Real Madrid under Zinedine Zidane, Díaz is expected to seek a move in the mid-season window after playing just 244 minutes of football this calendar year. Meanwhile, Ben Arfa has been without a club since leaving Rennes in May, with his salary expectations so far proving a stumbling block towards finding new employers.

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas will reportedly look to take Díaz on loan, and attempt to persuade Ben Arfa to lower his demands and return to the club where he made his professional debut in 2004 after coming through its youth ranks.