Sevilla president Pepe Castro has said that Real Madrid are ready to hijack their attempt to sign Mariano Diaz from Lyon.
The striker, who left Real Madrid for Lyon in 2017, was expected to move to Sevilla in a club-record deal after the Andalusian outfit reportedly agreed a move worth between €30 million and €40m.
But on Monday it emerged that Real were ready to gazump Sevilla by activating a first refusal agreed in the deal that saw Mariano swap the Bernabeu for the Groupama Stadium last year.
Then, Los Blancos agreed to part ways with Mariano for around €8m but included an option to re-sign the striker by matching offers from other clubs. They also kept 35 percent of the player's rights.
Castro has claimed that Mariano, 25, is yet to confirm his decision but the Sevilla president appeared to concede defeat in the battle.
"We are an ambitious club and things like that happen when you want players of this level. It is true that Madrid had a preferential option and told us that they will exercise it but we still do not have the player's notification," Castro told reporters on Tuesday.
"The player told us he wanted to play at Sevilla, that he wanted to play in the Spanish league and, above all, that he wanted to play in a team who have won so many Europa League titles as Sevilla. He has not given an answer and we are waiting for his answer. You can guess [his decision] but we do not have a reply from the player who is the one who is able to say one thing or another.
"Sevilla have acted as we had to act. We have reached an agreement with Lyon. The footballer told us he would only play for Sevilla. They [Real Madrid] have considered to exercise their option."
Mariano scored 21 goals in 41 appearances for Lyon last season and is expected to provide competition for Karim Benzema up front.
Julen Lopetegui is said to have played a big role in his decision with the new Real Madrid manager keen on adding firepower to his ranks following Cristiano Ronaldo's departure to Juventus.