Atletico Madrid plan double swoop on Real Madrid

Atletico Madrid are eyeing a double move from city rivals Real Madrid, identifying James Rodriguez and Mariano Diaz (pictured) as transfer targets.

That is according to a report in via La Razon, claiming that Atleti are considering a double swoop from their city rivals with Mariano seen as a potential replacement for Diego Costa.

When their loan players return this summer, Madrid’s bloated squad will have 37 first-team members before any new signings are factored in, and they are keen to offload several players.

Mariano and James are both said to have wage packets that are prohibitive – particularly for players who have played a minimal role this season and appear to play no part in Zinedine Zidane’s plans.

Dominican striker Mariano has not started a game in any competition this season – with just four fleeting substitute appearances, although he did clinch an El Clasico victory over Barcelona with a late second goal, moments after coming on.

He has been a peripheral figure across his two seasons at Madrid since his 2018 return from Lyon, which was thought to be in the region of €21.5m.

Indeed, Mariano made just three league starts in total last season – although two of those did come after Zinedine Zidane returned to the Madrid dugout in March.

Mariano scored four goals last term – in substitute appearances against Roma (in the Champions League), against Alaves in La Liga and a brace against Villarreal in April in a rare start for the club.

Mariano starred in his sole campaign at French club Lyon – whom he played for between his Madrid stints – netting 21 goals in all competitions.

Atleti landed midfielder Marcos Llorente from their city rivals last summer.

Tags James Rodriguez Mariano Diaz