REAL MADRID

Mayoral: Zidane wanted me to stay and Jovic to go

Following his loan switch to Roma, Borja Mayoral has claimed that Zinedine Zidane wanted him to stay on as Real Madrid's second-choice striker instead of Luka Jovic.

Mayoral: Zidane wanted me to stay and Jovic to go
AS Roma.

Borja Mayoral spoke candidly at his official Roma presentation on Wednesday, declaring that Real Madrid was ready to send Luka Jovic on loan so that he could stay on as Karim Benzema’s understudy.

With Benzema as the indisputable starting number nine, Mayoral and Jovic were vying for the position as second-choice centre forward under Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane.

According to Mayoral, Zidane had asked him to stay on in the summer, meaning the club was ready to find a loan assignment for Jovic in order to fulfil the French coach’s wishes. However, the 23-year-old Spaniard told Zidane that he wanted to leave in search of “new opportunities”, which eventually led to his Roma switch.

"When I arrived back at Madrid for the preseason, I was going to leave the club quickly, but Zidane wanted me to stay. I told him I had to leave to have more opportunities,” Mayoral said at his Roma unveiling on Wednesday.

“I think the club listened to Zidane and that's why they wanted to let Jovic go.”

He added: "Everything was done very late, but in the end I called his (Zidane's) office again and told him if he could let me go. I thought I would have more opportunities to play and grow. In the end it was done, I'm here and that is the most important thing.”

Borja Mayoral comes on for Luke Jovic during Real Madrid's game against Real Betis.

Borja Mayoral comes on for Luke Jovic during Real Madrid's game against Real Betis.

Mayoral, a product of Madrid’s La Fábrica youth academy, has joined Roma on a two-year loan deal, in which the Serie A club has the option to purchase the player in 2021 for €15 million or in 2022 for €20 million.

Mayoral happy and at home at Roma

Having gained valuable experience in LaLiga’s Primera Division with Levante over the past two seasons, the young Spanish striker stated that he has “arrived hungry” to succeed at Roma, adding that he is happy and already feeling at home in the Italian capital.

"When the summer began, my agent told me that Roma was very interested. That caught my attention and made me very happy," said Mayoral.

"I am super happy with the club, I feel at home and I have only been here ten days. Yes it is true that I only have two years on loan, but I consider myself more Roma than Madrid because Roma have the option to buy me. For me it is a point of arrival.”