With less than six months left on his contract at Real Madrid, Marco Asensio is staring at an uncertain future at the Santiago Bernabeu.
The winger, who is celebrating his 27th birthday today, has been at the club since 2015, when he arrived from RCD Mallorca. But there is no certainty that he will remain at the club beyond the ongoing campaign, as his contract edges closer to expiry.
Real Madrid negotiated a new deal with the winger last summer, but the downward renewal offered did not please the winger. When he changed his agent to Jorge Mendes, it was widely expected that he would leave the club, but with no offers forthcoming, he stayed put.
Having seen his game-time severely regulated in the early parts of the season, Asensio slowly gained some semblance of importance in Carlo Ancelotti’s plans.
Now with less than six months left on his deal, AS (h/t Madrid Xtra) is reporting that Real Madrid are certain about wanting to offer him a new deal, while the player himself is keen on staying put at the Santiago Bernabeu.
“Things are being discussed, we’ll see where it goes. I’m focused on myself and the next game. Hopefully, everything will come to fruition,” Asensio had said after the midweek game against Villarreal.
“I want to renew and stay at Madrid for a long time, but it’s not something that depends only on me. For me, the most important thing is sporting matters and being happy.”
However, the sticking point in negotiations could be that Asensio is seeking a key role in the team, which cannot be guaranteed at this point.
After all, the Spanish international is currently behind Vinicius Jr, Rodrygo Goes and even Federico Valverde when it comes to the pecking order on the flanks.
Furthermore, Real Madrid plan to bring back Brahim Diaz next season and see him as a viable option for the right wing, which could further impact Asensio’s role.
It remains to be seen how the negotiations between the 27-year-old and the club progress in the coming weeks and months as they look to come to an agreement over a new deal.
Key Real Madrid defender still not 100% fit ahead of Club World Cup semi-final – report
Carlo Ancelotti heads into the FIFA Club World Cup in a pressure cooker situation. The pressure on the manager’s shoulders is immense, for his job could be on the line after Real Madrid’s poor run of form.
The injury situation does not favour the Italian tactician either. Lucas Vazquez, Ferland Mendy, Karim Benzema, Eder Militao and even Thibaut Courtois are out of the semi-final against Al Ahly, leaving him very few options to play with.
According to reports from Jorge C Picon, David Alaba too is not completely fit yet. The Austrian International was given the medical all-clear and entered the squad for Real Madrid’s game against Mallorca, yet started on the bench as he was not at 100%, and that remains the case ahead of tonight’s clash.
The report, however, adds that his mere inclusion in the squad comes as a breather for Ancelotti. Alaba is highly valued by the technical staff, not only for his reading of the game on the field but also for his leadership.
The defender has already missed seven games for Los Blancos since sustaining a muscular injury against Villarreal at La Ceramica. He did indeed come off the bench for under half an hour against Mallorca, but will likely not be risked to start on Thursday.
In his absence, Nacho Fernandez and Antonio Rudiger are expected to take centre stage in defence in Morocco. Eduardo Camavinga, meanwhile, could start as left-back again.
Alaba has played 17 games for Los Blancos this season and was one of the players with the most minutes until his injury. In his league campaign so far, he has scored one goal and provided three assists while also averaging a key pass every ninety minutes.
It remains to be seen if the Austrian recovers completely in time for the Club World Cup final should the European Champions make it. As it stands, using a cautious approach is in Real Madrid’s best interest.