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Exit-linked Real Madrid winger wants to continue at the club beyond summer

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Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Marco Asensio is one of several Real Madrid players whose contract with the club expires at the end of the season. The winger has been linked with an exit from the Santiago Bernabeu, with several clubs keen on signing him as a free agent.

However, according to a report from AS, Asensio is keen on staying put at Real Madrid. The Spaniard sees himself as capable of competing for the starting berth at the club which he has lost this season and does not wish to leave.

Asensio has been on the books of the club since 2015, when he arrived, and has been in the first-team picture after a season-long loan with Espanyol.

Once regarded as the future of the Merengues, Asensio’s progress was halted by a serious injury. Since returning, the 26-year-old has been unable to hit the heights expected of him and has gradually lost his place in the side.

The winger was heavily linked with an exit last summer when negotiations over a new contract fell through. However, the forward did not leave as he could not find a project that best suited him.

Asensio found game-time hard to come by under Carlo Ancelotti in the early parts of this season. However, the winger gained prominence just before the World Cup break while his performances as a false-nine for Spain have added more weight to his continuity.

In a recent press conference, commenting on the contract situations of his players, Ancelotti said: “The renewals do not worry me, because I see everyone very connected. Ceballos, Asensio, Modric, Kroos… we will be able to evaluate all their cases. 

“I want to make one thing very clear: I have full confidence in these players between now and June. If they consider that it is best to leave, I will be happy too, for them.”

Asensio has been linked with clubs like Juventus, AC Milan and Manchester United in the past, while Real Madrid’s arch-rivals Barcelona are also said to be keeping tabs on his situation.

But, as things stand, it seems like Asensio wants to remain at the Santiago Bernabeu. And he will have the next six months to convince Real Madrid to hand him a new contract.

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Real Madrid News

Ancelotti’s dilemma: How will he handle a fully fit defense next season?

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Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

Real Madrid’s manager, Carlo Ancelotti, is set to face a challenging situation in restructuring his defence for the upcoming season and that is largely down to key players like David Alaba and Eder Militao are returning to full fitness. 

Interestingly, this situation might put Antonio Rudiger’s spot in the starting lineup under significant pressure.

Back when Rudiger joined Real Madrid he was supposed to strengthen a defence already featuring Alaba and Militao. Despite their young age, these two had firmly established themselves in the team. 

Over the past two years, however, Ancelotti has consistently relied on the duo, with Rudiger and Nacho serving as their main substitutes. 

A big decision awaits Ancelotti

As the new season approaches, Ancelotti faces a dilemma similar to the one he had with goalkeepers Andriy Lunin and Thibaut Courtois. A similar situation is likely to unfold with Rudiger and Militao vying for the right centre-back position.

It must be remembered that Militao suffered an untimely injury last season, prompting Ancelotti to choose Rudiger over Nacho, who, although right-footed, is also adept on the left side. 

Carlo Ancelotti needs to assess his defensive duo for next season. (Photo by JAVIER SORIANO/AFP via Getty Images)

As the season progressed, Rudiger proved his worth, becoming a mainstay in the defense. His physical strength, bravery, and aerial prowess made him a reliable choice. 

His ability to play out from the back earned him the respect and confidence of his teammates, overshadowing Militao’s absence.

Rudiger’s importance has grown

Rudiger’s importance grew further when Alaba got injured in December. He became the cornerstone of the defence, often partnering with Nacho or Aurelien Tchouameni. Even when Rudiger played on the left side, the defensive structure remained solid.

When Militao returned in the last month and a half of the season, he struggled to regain his previous form. The long recovery period left emotional scars, and he was not the same player he had been before the injury. 

Consequently, Ancelotti opted to keep Rudiger in the lineup for crucial matches towards the end of the season.

With the new season on the horizon, Rudiger’s strong performances will present a significant challenge for Ancelotti. 

As Alaba also returns from injury, Ancelotti will have to decide who among Rudiger, Militao, and Alaba will be benched. 

Rudiger has proven his capability, often outperforming the Brazilian, whose post-injury form is still uncertain. 

Adding to the competition, Real Madrid might sign Leni Yoro and even Rafa Marin could return from his loan spell which could further complicate Ancelotti’s decisions.

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