Lyon lure Real prospect Mariano Diaz
Olympique Lyonnais continued their busy start to the transfer window with the capture of Real Madrid youngster Mariano Diaz, who signed a five-year, €8m with the seven-time champions of France.
Following the arrivals of left-backs Fernando Marçal (Benfica) and Ferland Mendy (Le Havre) and striker Bertrand Traoré (Chelsea), Olympique Lyonnais have added further firepower to Bruno Genesio's squad for season 2017-18 with the arrival of Real Madrid youth product Mariano Diaz on a long-term deal.
The centre-forward, 23, made eight appearances and scored one goal for Zinedine Zidane's La Liga and Champions League double winners, but an appetite for more game time than the Merengues' star-studded squad allowed him prompted to move to France despite the esteem in which Zidane holds him.
"Real didn't want to let him go, but Mariano really wanted a transfer," revealed OL president Jean-Michel Aulas, who has taken care not to leave the club wanting for firepower in the likely event that star striker Alexandre Lacazette makes a move way from the Parc OL this summer. "He will bring plenty of power and pace to the team. And cutting edge too. This kind of very promising young player, with huge potential, is just what the fans want to see."
Diaz, eligible to represent both Spain and the Dominican Republic at international level, joined Real Madrid as a 19-year-old in 2012, working his way through the ranks until he made his debut in Zinedine Zidane's senior team in the 2016-17 campaign. Real Madrid, for whom a buy-back clause will run through the first two years of Diaz's Lyon contract, will also receive 35% of any profit Lyon make on an eventual sale of the highly-rated youngster.