Marca explain on Thursday that Real Madrid’s Mariano was very much a wanted man during the January transfer window.

Unsurprisingly the 23 year old is finding it hard to get minutes on the pitch at Madrid, but Zinedine Zidane wanted to keep him with the squad.

Spanish newspaper Marca say that Leicester City were one of more than 20 clubs to put an offer on the table to sign Mariano during the January transfer window. It’s not made entirely clear whether the offers related to a loan or permanent transfer, although the former is the likelier scenario.

Screen Shot 2017-02-02 at 10.26.36Leicester City’s interest isn’t a surprise, Mariano has played 223 minutes for Real Madrid so far this season, and scored five goals. Signing the out and out striker may have allowed Claudio Ranieri to let Leonardo Ulloa leave, although the players are of differing profiles.

With a contract until June 2021, Real Madrid have no worry over losing Mariano if they don’t want to. But given the footballer will turn 24 years of age in August, it would be understandable if he gets itchy feet should the lack of football continue.

Leicester City, and others, are likely to be watching.