Mariano Diaz has struck 13 times in 19 Ligue 1 games for Lyon.

Lyon forward Mariano Diaz has said he may return to Real Madrid one day but is focused only on continuing his record-breaking run with Lyon.

Mariano moved to the Ligue 1 side in an €8 million summer deal and has scored 13 goals in 19 Ligue 1 games, a better record than predecessors including Karim Benzema or Alexandre Lacazette.

The deal that took Mariano to Lyon last summer did not contain a buy-back clause, but the 24-year-old told Marca he would not rule out playing for Madrid again.

“Why not?,” he said. “It does not depend on me, but it could be nice, some day, to return to Real Madrid. At the moment I am just thinking about Lyon and very happy here.”

Madrid’s struggle for goals has sparked speculation that they could sign another forward in January.

And asked to compare himself to potential targets such as Harry Kane of Tottenham Hotspur or Inter Milan’s Mauro Icardi, Mariano suggested that former youth team players such as him were seen differently.

“There are many differences,” he said. “I am a canterano, for example.”

Madrid attackers Isco (four goals), Cristiano Ronaldo (four), Benzema (two), Gareth Bale (two) and Borja Mayoral (one) have 13 goals between them, the same number Mariano has managed on his own.

But the Lyon forward said: “It is not that they are lacking goals, just that they have not been hitting the target recently.

“But in any moment they will start again, given the dynamite they have up front.

“Benzema has other parts to his game, he links up very well, and also scores goals. At the moment he is just not having any luck.”

Mariano’s start in France has led Spain coach Julen Lopetegui to say he could call him up ahead of the World Cup, even though he represented the Dominican Republic in one friendly game in 2013, scoring a hat trick against Haiti.

“To wear the Spain jersey would be a dream — who would not want that, and even more at a World Cup,” he said.

Dermot Corrigan is a Madrid-based football writer who covers La Liga and the Spain national team for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @dermotmcorrigan


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