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Mariano Diaz shoots down London clubs

IN DEMAND: Mariano Diaz

MARIANO DIAZ the Real Madrid misfit offered to Arsenal and Tottenham, has turned down the chance to compete in both the English and Italian top tiers.

The 25-year-old, who played one friendly for the Dominican Republic in a friendly six years ago, finds himself in the middle of a squad overhaul in the Spanish capital.

Earlier this week, he was offered at a cut price bargain of £18 million to London Premier League sides Arsenal and Tottenham.

However, coach Unai Emery couldn't offer Champions League this season with the Gunners and Diaz was reluctant to battle it out with Spurs' Harry Kane for an automatic starting spot.

West Ham, another London outfit were mooted, but Diaz is a much-wanted forward and his agent has already turned down concrete offers from Italian giants AC Milan and AS Roma.

Diaz was a success with French outfit Lyon for the 2017-18 season, but then returned to the Bernabeu to bag four goals in 19 games under head coach Zinedine Zidane.

Real Madrid welcomed back Zidane towards the end of last season, but even the talisman Frenchman could not get the best out of his disillusioned squad that finished well off the pace of bitter rivals Barcelona.

Zidane, given the task of rebuilding his squad, has been heavily involved in the transfer market with an array of stars coming in. He now has the inevitable task of off-loading those surplus to requirement.

Diaz, born in Barcelona to a Spanish father and a mother from the Dominican Republic, has four years left on his contract with Real Madrid.

The latest rumours in Spain is that he will be loaned out to one of Madrid's lesser rivals in La Liga.

However, Diaz may get a reprieve at Real Madrid as the Champions League regulations require each squad to feature eight players trained in their country, with four brought through the club's academy. He worked his way through the youth team as well as both Real Madrid's B and C sides before making his first team debut in 2016.

Having been given the famous no.7 shirt, vacated by Cristiano Ronaldo who moved to perennial Italian champions Juventus, this put immediate pressure on Diaz to emulate the Portuguese superstar.

Those are tough boots to fill and, although he is prepared to battle for his place under Zidane, it appears that his future lies away from the Spanish capital - just not in the Premier League quite yet.

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