By 90Min
July 10, 2019

Arsenal may yet find a way to strengthen on the cheap this summer after it has been claimed that the Gunners have been offered Real Madrid forward Mariano Diaz for just £18m.

Arsenal's summer transfer budget, or lack thereof, has been the subject of much discussion in recent weeks. At barely more than £40m unless existing players are sold, and with French teenager William Saliba expected to join for £25m, it doesn't leave much more for new signings.

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Therefore, it makes a potential cut-price deal for Mariano an interesting proposition.

The Dominican Republic international is one of a number of players thought to be surplus to requirements at the Bernabeu as their summer overhaul continues, with Los Blancos keen to raise as much money from selling players as possible to fund further buys - namely Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba.

Already, Real have raked in more than €120m by selling Mateo Kovacic, Theo Hernandez, Marcos Llorente and others. Mariano has been pushed further down the pecking order by new arrivals Eden Hazard and Luka Jovic, but a switch to Arsenal could offer him a way out.

The report comes from the Daily Mirror and alleges that the Gunners have been 'sounded out' by Real as they look to offload Mariano for around £18m, which sounds like excellent value.

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Initially scouted and signed by Real as a teenager, Mariano, now 25, rejoined the club from Lyon just last summer and was presented with the enormous weight of the number seven shirt vacated by all-time record goalscorer Cristiano Ronaldo.

But injury and a stiff battle for places dictated that he started just three La Liga games all season, scoring only four goals in 19 total appearances in all competitions.

Mariano's previous record suggests he might still be a worthwhile target for Arsenal, though. He was prolific for Real Madrid's B team and scored 21 goals in all competitions for Lyon in 2017/18 as the club finished third in Ligue 1 and reached the Europa League knockout rounds.

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Gossip from Spain earlier this month had linked Arsenal with Real winger Lucas Vazquez for £31m, while primary target Wilfried Zaha appears to be well out of the club's price range.

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