Real Madrid went through a major squad overhaul this past summer, with the club offloading a slew of unwanted stars including Gareth Bale, Isco, and Marcelo, while the likes of Luka Jovic and Reinier left the club on loan.
However, in their attempts to further trim the squad and further reduce the wage bill, Real Madrid are actively looking to offload other fringe players in the team.
According to Diario AS (h/t Madrid Zone), one of the players in contention to leave the club is Mariano Diaz. The 29-year-old has fallen behind in the pecking order and has no role in Carlo Ancelotti’s game-plan.
Formerly of Olympique Lyon, he is yet to even feature in a single minute of league football so far this season. His appearance of the season saw him participate only five minutes of the Champions League encounter against RB Leipzig.
Diaz has struggled with game-time at Real Madrid historically as well. He is yet to even feature in a combined total of 2000 minutes of league football ever since returning to Santiago Bernabeu.
With the forward struggling with prominence in the Real Madrid team, the club will not hand him any contract extension. His current deal at the club expires at the end of the season.
Los Blancos are likely to release him in 2023, although they would ideally like to sanction his sale in the upcoming January transfer window. It could help them generate some form of revenue, although it will not come as a surprise to see the club hand the attacker a letter of freedom.
Diaz’s exit from Santiago Bernabeu could be a step in the right direction in the club’s bid to further trim the squad. However, with Karim Benzema nearing the final phase of his career, it is essential for the club to bring in reinforcements in the goalscoring department.
UFC Champion to kick off Real Madrid vs Sevilla, sends message to Mbappe: “Lucky to play for the best club in the world”
Coming on the back of his triumph at UFC, Featherweight champion Ilia Topuria has announced he will take honorary kick-off in the upcoming Real Madrid vs Sevilla in La Liga this weekend.
Topuria confirmed this in a recent press conference in the Spanish capital this midweek.
A self-proclaimed Madridista, Topuria expressed his deep connection with the club and even sent a message to Kylian Mbappe, who is widely expected to join the club on a free transfer this summer.
Ilia Topuria: A hardcore Madridista
Ilia Topuria did not hold back his affection for Real Madrid, stating, “For me, the team that represents the values of Spain the most is Real Madrid.”
The Georgian-Spaniard UFC champion went on to confirm that he will meet Florentino Perez on Sunday and take the kick-off.
“I’m going to meet Florentino Perez on Sunday and take the kick-off,” he said (h/t Mundo Deportivo).
Although born in Germany, Topuria made Spain proud last Saturday when he beat Alexander Volkanovski in the second round. In the process, he became the first fighter from Spain to capture a UFC belt.
Topuria’s triumph has granted him overnight success in Spain, with the 27-year-old even becoming a cultural icon for many.
Topuria’s message for Mbappe
Other than professing his love for Real Madrid, Ilia Topuria also had a message for Mbappe.
When asked about the Frenchman potentially joining Real Madrid this summer, he said, “Welcome. He’s lucky to play for the best club in the world.”
Real Madrid, for their part, also congratulated Topuria on his triumph. “Congratulations on your historic triumph for Spanish sport, Ilia Topuria. We are proud that a great Real Madrid fan like you becomes UFC world champion,” the club posted on X.
Real Madrid fans, meanwhile, will be excited to witness Topuria taking the honorary kickoff as Los Blancos take on Sevilla this weekend, with three crucial points on the line.