The next few weeks will shape 23-year-old winger Brahim Díaz’s career, with various destinations possible for the Serie A talent.
On loan at AC Milan from Real Madrid and a more mature player after his latest spell in Italy, the Rossoneri would like Díaz to stay, with his temporary two-year deal expiring this June.
Meanwhile, there are some claims in Spain—still unconfirmed—that Díaz will duly return to the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu and coach Carlo Ancelotti’s squad this summer.
After seeing him make a positive impact at another top team, Real knows Díaz is a valuable asset—whether he plays at Real or not—hence its ongoing talks with Milan over the Malaga-born youngster’s next step, his most important yet.
Running a tight ship, Milan would like to strike a modest agreement with Real—much like the loan fees spent on Díaz, which stand at approximately €3 million ($3.3 million). Although it will need to shell out more, cutting spending is especially necessary given another more highly rated Milan forward, Rafael Leão—who would bring the club a significant windfall—is instead supposedly set to continue at San Siro.
However, Real is not willing to sanction a cheap deal. Díaz, while not a household name, is a different proposition after evolving in coach Stefano Pioli’s side. And despite being no match for a champion-elect Napoli this campaign, he helped Milan to its first title in 11 years last season and netted in its astounding 0-4 victory at the league frontrunner this month.
For that reason, Real should consider reintegrating him into the first team or selling him for a healthy price—around the €30 million ($33 million) mark that Premier League flyer Arsenal is willing to pay, according to SportMediaset (Italian). If not, then even more, as it would make for a tidy profit after initially handing fellow English heavyweight Manchester City a confident €17 million ($19 million) for his signature in 2017.
It will do well to receive an enormous bid for the Morocco international. With all the raw abilities, Díaz’s attacking output is steady but unspectacular. However, he does have a high ceiling and would be a welcome boost to most European clubs.
But what’s best for the midfielder—staying in Milan, a return to Spain, or another switch altogether?
Regarding ambition, switching to Real is a no-brainer. It does pose a risk, however. Many players have become lost in the background at Los Blancos, and Díaz may still not be ready to stamp his authority on the team.
Having battled for a place in the first selection before, being frozen out again cannot be an option at this stage in his development. So, prioritizing Milan or another suitor seems a sensible bet if he wants to secure regular soccer.
On the other hand, there is a place for Díaz at Real. Vinícius Júnior is the outstanding offensive candidate on the left flank. But with Díaz able to operate on the right, he can push Marco Asensio and Federico Valverde for a starting berth there. Eden Hazard shouldn’t pose significant competition in that role.
He would also be returning to familiar surroundings without a heavy transfer fee on his back. And he would be in good hands, with Ancelotti nurturing Real’s young talents well. Still playing in the Champions League with Milan, there is ample opportunity to impress more—and increase his market value—before any business begins. Watch this space.