Real Madrid were on the lookout for a brand new number 9 after Cristiano Ronaldo left the club, and before they signed Mariano Diaz, they wanted a La Liga superstar instead.
Losing Cristiano Ronaldo will be a much bigger blow then even Real Madrid will ever expect and to fill the void of someone who has scored a minimum of 25 goals in the La Liga since his debut season in 2009/10 will be even harder. And it showed as one of the main reasons Julen Loeptegui was eventually sacked was because he struggled to find goals from anywhere else. Mariano Diaz, the only other player signed in the summer transfer window, hasn’t made too much off an impact.
But it has been revealed by La Liga star Iago Aspas that Real Madrid were very interested in signing him before they made a move for their former star. Rumours went so far as to even say that Real Madrid had agreed to terms with the 31-year-old Celta Vigo striker. The former Liverpool star has been one of La Liga’s best strikers in recent years, outscoring the likes of Antoine Griezmann and Gareth Bale last season.
But Aspas revealed in an interview ahead of Celta Vigo’s clash against Real Madrid “They didn’t get in touch with me, but it’s true that there was interest I don’t know if there was contact between the clubs. They signed Mariano to cover the lack of a No.9. I’ve always said that you never know what can happen in football, but I have four more years on my contract at Celta Vigo and I am very happy here.”
This season too has gone very well so far for the Celta Vigo star, with Aspas playing a major role scoring 9 goals in 12 appearances, with eight in the La Liga alone. This puts him just one goal behind top scorer Luis Suarez and one ahead of Lionel Messi, in the race for the Pichichi trophy.
The nominees for the October Player of the Month in #LaLigaSantander! ?
? Borja Iglesias
? Luis Suarez
? Iago Aspas
Who gets your vote? ? pic.twitter.com/shMlsM2Mzk
— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) November 7, 2018
But with Celta Vigo facing Real Madrid next, Aspas will have to make sure he is at his very best. Especially since new manager, Santiago Solari has injected a bit of hope and the club are on a winning streak. “We approach this match like any other, but this is a nice one to watch or play in,” he said. “They’ve made a lot of changes and had some exits. They are the best players in the world. Cristiano Ronaldo brought them a lot of goals and covered some deficiencies.
As for Julen Lopetegui, they didn’t give him time to impose his methods. Results matter and it’s normal that people and directors got nervous. For me, I really liked Lopetegui and his coaching staff.”
The move would have never worked out for the Spanish star, and given Mariano Diaz’s current plight maybe it’s a good thing nothing ever materialized for Iago Aspas. But then again, given that Aspas has outscored every single Real Madrid star, maybe his presence in the side could have changed things for Real Madrid and Julen Lopetegui?