Mariano Diaz returns to Real Madrid

After a single season in Ligue 1 with Lyon, striker Mariano Diaz is heading back to LaLiga having rejoined Real Madrid.

Mariano Diaz playing for Real Madrid in April 2017   -  Getty Images

Real Madrid has made its first major attacking signing since the sale of Cristiano Ronaldo, with Mariano Diaz returning to the club from Lyon.

Mariano left Madrid for Lyon a year ago for €8million but the Ligue 1 side has agreed a deal worth a possible €36million for the striker.

Sevilla was interested in Mariano but its attempted capture of the 25-year-old fell through when Madrid's interest in triggering its option to buy emerged.

Mariano has signed a five-year deal with Madrid and he will be presented to the club's fans at the Santiago Bernabeu on Friday.

Earlier on Wednesday, Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas indicated Mariano's move to Madrid was imminent.

"Mariano told us that he absolutely wanted to leave, the offer from Sevilla arrived without being solicited," Aulas told reporters. "Keeping a player against his will is a bad preparation for a healthy season.

"With Sevilla, we found an agreement but then Real Madrid came and had an option to buy. We did not think they were going to use it, but they did it yesterday morning."

Mariano made a great start to life in France, scoring 18 league goals in 2017-18, but he has not found the net since April.

His arrival will ease the goalscoring burden on Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale following the shock sale of Ronaldo to Serie A champion Juventus in a €112m deal after the Portugal captain helped Madrid to win its third consecutive Champions League title in May.

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