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Real Madrid flop Mariano Diaz closes in on loan move to Benfica

Mariano Diaz, Real Madrid, Benfica
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Mariano Diaz is reportedly on the verge of leaving Real Madrid once again in a season-long loan switch to Benfica.

Regular opportunities have been scarce for Mariano ever since rejoining Real Madrid in 2018 following a prolific spell at Lyon, which saw him score 21 goals in 48 appearances.

The 27-year-old is clearly out of Zinedine Zidane’s plans, making just seven appearances in all competitions last season. A summer exit, therefore, is inevitable with Benfica seemingly favorites to sign him.

According to Portuguese outlet Record, the Eagles have struck a loan agreement with Real Madrid. The deal will cover the 2020/21 campaign and include a buy option for next summer.

This development in Portugal came shortly after Benfica conceded defeat in signing Edinson Cavani, who is a free agent after ending a seven-year spell with Paris Saint-Germain.

The main obstacle left for Benfica to resolve is Mariano’s wages. Whilst the Portuguese giants won’t pay Real Madrid anything in loan fees, they must cover the player’s €4m-per-year salary in full.

It’s understood that Benfica plan to make some sort of arrangement with Real Madrid in this aspect. Once that is covered, they’ll turn their attention to convincing Mariano to join them.

This may prove tricky, though, as the striker allegedly would like to fight for his place at the Bernabeu despite his lowly status in the pecking order.