Ronaldo’s replacement? Madrid sign €30m striker

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Real Madrid have made their first major attacking signing of the post-Ronaldo era, with the acquisition of Mariano Diaz who returned to the club from Lyon.

Mariano left the Los blancos for Lyon a year ago for €8 million but the French side have agreed a deal worth a possible €30m (£27m/$35m) for the striker.

Madrid were not the only suitors who tried to woo the attacker, as Sevilla also showed interests, but their attempted capture of the 25-year-old fell through when Madrid’s interest in triggering their option to buy emerged.

Mariano signed a five-year deal with Madrid and a presentation to the fans at the Santiago Bernabeu will be due on Friday.

Mariano left a void in Lyon’s attack and the club have confirmed their interest in Moussa Dembele as a direct replacement but they face stiff competition from Ligue 1 rivals Marseille for the Celtic striker.

“We cannot announce the replacement of Mariano yet. His arrival and the departure of Mariano will be connected,” Aulas said.

“Moussa Dembele is a target, yes. But I also read that Marseille were on it. Is it harder for them than for us? Yes, I think so.

“We came into contact with Moussa Dembele. The player is interested in Lyon but Celtic are hard in negotiations. There are other targets.”

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