West Ham United are interested in a deal to bring Mariano Diaz to the London Stadium in the January transfer window.
That’s according to a report by El Nacional, who claim that David Moyes’ West Ham transfer team have initiated talks with the Real Madrid centre-forward, with the Spanish media outlet going as far as to suggest that a deal for the 28-year-old is nearly complete.
The report goes on to state that Sevilla and Atletico Madrid are also interested in the striker, although it is believed that Los Blancos would much rather sell the former Dominican Republic international to a team outside of Spain.
While it is true that, following Marko Arnautovic’s £22.5m sale back in the summer of 2019, the club replaced the Austria international with the £45m signing of Sebastien Haller the following winter, it is undeniable that the Ivory Coast international failed to live up to his significant price tag in East London – scoring just 14 goals over his 54 appearances in all competitions for West Ham before being sold to Ajax for £20.25m last January.
And, while it is also true that Diaz has not exactly been in blistering form for Real Madrid since his £19.35m move back to the club back in 2018 – featuring in just 36 LaLiga games over the last three-and-a-half years – the 28-year-old nevertheless proved during his one season with Olympique Lyonnais that, when given the opportunity to do so, he can bring extraordinary returns.
Indeed, over his 34 Ligue 1 appearances back in 2017/18, the £6.3m-rated man scored a whopping 18 goals, registered four assists and created four big chances for his teammates, as well as taking an average of 2.9 shots and making 0.9 key passes per game.
These returns saw the £105k-per-week centre-forward who Gerald Baticle dubbed a “real goalscorer” earn a highly impressive seasonal SofaScore match rating of 7.06 – ranking him as Lyon’s seventh-best performer in the top flight of French football that season.
As such, while goalscoring returns are never 100% guaranteed, should West Ham go on to seal a deal for Diaz this month, and the 28-year-old can go on to replicate his form while in France in East London, the forgotten Real Madrid striker could well finally replace Arnautovic in the Hammers’ first-team squad – something which he undoubtedly has the ability to do.