Mariano Diaz wants Real Madrid stay

Striker Mariano Diaz is prepared to fight for his place in the first-team squad at Real Madrid despite links to a summer exit.

The 25-year-old netted twice in Madrid’s 3-2 win over Villarreal last weekend in what was only his third league start of the campaign.

The Dominican forward had previously netted just two goals across all competitions with game-time limited and suffering a series of hamstring injuries.

“I do not have a crystal ball but I want to stay here,” Mariano has told official Real Madrid media.

“I am happy and looking to the future with enthusiasm. I hope I can continue to be given the opportunities and I am going to work to receive them.”

Diaz returned to Los Blancos in a €20m deal last summer from Lyon after he spent one season in France, when he netted 18 goals in Ligue 1.

The Barcelona-born forward has found opportunities limited since Julen Lopetegui’s departure in October, failing to dislodge the in-form Karim Benzema from Madrid’s first team all season.

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