Schalke are currently fifth in the Bundesliga, but a push in the business-end of the season could help them to a Champions League spot.
Schalke visit inarguably the toughest venue in the Bundesliga on Saturday as they take on Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena. The reverse fixture ended with the Bavarians grabbing a stunning 3-0 victory in the Veltins Arena, courtesy of a hat-trick from Robert Lewandowski. While the Royal Blues have improved since then, a goal-scorer is needed.
David Wagner’s side does have the capability to contend for the title this season, realistically so, but there are some doubts over Schalke’s credentials given their form in front of goal. Die Knappen have scored just 31 goals in 18 matches this season across league play, a rather low return averaging less than two goals scored per game.
January’s transfer window has been known to turn the fortunes of several clubs across Europe over the years and German giants may want to bring in a forward so as to answer their scoring woes for the remaining part of the season. Real Madrid striker Mariano Diaz could be the perfect addition to Wagner’s roster possibly on an initial loan deal.
Mariano Diaz has endured a rather difficult season at the Santiago Bernabeu, missing out on most of the matches this season after Zinedine Zidane has preferred the likes of Karim Benzema and Luka Jovic over him. That being said, Zidane has also privately told the striker that a move away from the Spanish capital could be his best option for the time being.
Real Madrid have shown that they are open to executing loan deals even in the winter as was seen by Alvaro Odriozola’s move to Bayern Munich last week, so a player who is practically a deadweight would certainly be allowed to go. A permanent move could be on the cards as well if the Gelsenkirchen-based side makes a reasonable offer.
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Los Blancos brought in Mariano in 2018/19 exercising their buyback clause whilst the player was at Olympique Lyon where he did an incredible job scoring nearly 30 goals in the season across all competitions. At Madrid, things did not work out for him due to injuries in his first campaign since returning, whereas he hasn’t gotten a chance to prove himself this time out.