Real deals are all done after Mariano Diaz returns to Madrid

Julen Lopetegui is happy with the state of his Real Madrid squad as Mariano Diaz is primed to make his second debut against Leganes.

Diaz is back at the Bernabeu just 12 months after joining Lyon, returning for 30million euros (£27million) and taking Cristiano Ronaldo’s number seven shirt.

Lopetegui confirmed there would be no other arrivals on the European transfer deadline day.

He said at a press conference: “Mariano’s arrival will complete our squad.

“I don’t think there’ll be any last-minute deals and we’re satisfied and happy with the team we have.

“We’ll try and get the very best out of the players that are here and I believe the market could close earlier in future so that we could all focus a bit more on what we’re doing.”

Diaz made nine substitute appearances for Real before joining Ligue 1 side Lyon, for whom he scored 20 goals last season.

He will fancy his chances of getting his second spell in the Spanish capital off to a winning start against Leganes, who have taken one point from their opening two LaLiga games.

Lopetegui added: “They have just one point but could have six because they played well against Real Sociedad and Athletic.

“They’ve kicked off the season looking good. They’re sure to be tough opposition, well organised, with better players than last season and they’ll certainly make life difficult for us.

“We’re moving forward. We’ve been working together for a while now and that’s evident in our play.

“We have to keep progressing and improving in many aspects, both in attack and defence.

“But I think the team is doing all they can to work for each other, which is exactly the kind of atmosphere we want to encourage.”

Mauricio Pellegrino was in charge of Southampton last season
Mauricio Pellegrino was in charge of Southampton last season (Owen Humpreys/PA)

Leganes, managed by former Southampton boss Mauricio Pellegrino, are unable to pick Madrid loanees Andriy Lunin and Oscar Rodriguez to play against their parent club, while Ezequiel Munoz is a doubt.

Pellegrino accepts it will be a different task facing Real Madrid this year.

He told a press conference: “It’s a Madrid without Cristiano Ronaldo but it’s still Real Madrid.

“Football is a team sport where luckily there’s something more important than individuality, which is trying to play with 11 players connected.

“I see a Madrid a little differently today to the previous year in the sense that they occupy the field in a more rational, not so chaotic way.

“It is a tremendous team.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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