Former Manchester City player Brahim Diaz is set to face his old team in the Champions League this week when City face Real Madrid. Despite swirling rumours linking Diaz with a return to the Premier League, he has been named in Madrid’s 24-man squad.
There is speculation linking West Ham United with a loan move for the talented wide-midfielder. In late-May, The Sun reported that he was one of four players who could move to Manchester United, in a part-exchange deal for United’s Paul Pogba.
However, reports in Spain suggest that Diaz could remain in La Liga.
Brahim Diaz Set to Face Manchester City in Champions League Clash
Diaz Not Playing
Diaz joined Manchester City in 2013. However, he left in January 2019 to join Real Madrid in a £15 million transfer. At the time, the then 19-year-old was on the fringes of City’s first-team, but he was not at a stage where he could challenge the likes of Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane and Riyad Mahrez.
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola was extremely disappointed at losing Diaz. So much so, that he re-ignited the debate regarding Premier League ‘B teams’ joining the Football League.
During the first half of the 2018/19 season, Diaz made four appearances for City, although none of these were in the Premier League. He cited a desire to play more first-team football as his reason for leaving Manchester.
Sadly, for The Spaniard, his switch to Madrid has seen a reduction in his first-team opportunities. So far, he has made just seven substitute appearances for Madrid during their 2019/20 La Liga and Champions League matches. In total, this amounts to less than two hours playing time. However, Diaz did start in Madrid’s Copa del Rey tie against Real Sociedad.
A situation that is far from ideal for the highly-rated Diaz. Real Madrid also want an increase in his playing time.
Madrid Want a Loan Move
Real Madrid’s solution is to send Diaz on loan. According to reports in Spain, there are several interested clubs. West Ham United are one of these. Two others are Spanish clubs Getafe and Real Betis.
Earlier this week, Getafe appeared favourites. Now, Real Betis have emerged as a more likely possibility. If West Ham lose out to Real Betis, then their sacking of Manuel Pellegrini could be the reason.
Pellegrini is the man in charge of Betis. He was also the man who brought Diaz – then aged just 14 – to England. The pair were previously at Malaga, before Pellegrini signed him for City in 2013.
According to Spanish newspaper El Espanol, negotiations between Real Madrid and Real Betis are at an advanced stage, with the deal close to completion.
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