Real Madrid News
Real Madrid were close to signing Barcelona veteran before La Masia move
Real Madrid were once close to signing Sergi Roberto back in 2006. This has been revealed by Manolo Romero, a former Real Madrid scout in Catalonia, who recently spoke on the program ‘El Bar’ on Cadena SER (h/t Diario SPORT).
Roberto had initially caught the attention of both Real Madrid and Barcelona while playing for Gimnastic de Tarragona in the youth category. However, it was Barcelona who eventually secured his signature after Roberto’s mother fell ill.
The player wanted to remain in Catalonia to be with her, giving Barcelona the opportunity to secure his services and make him a part of the famed La Masia conveyor belt. “He preferred to stay in Catalonia with his mother and soon after, Barça took him away,” Romero said.
The former Real Madrid scout expressed his happiness at Roberto’s success with Barcelona but revealed that his father had approached him after his initial struggles at Camp Nou.
“The first years he had a very bad time, he barely played for a minute. His father asked me what he should do and I always answered him the same, continue training with the best,” Romero said.
Since then, Roberto has become one of the leaders of Barcelona’s first team, making almost 350 competitive appearances for the club. His versatility, leadership, and experience have made him a valuable asset for coach Xavi Hernandez. He even recently signed a contract extension that will keep him at the club until 2024.
For Real Madrid fans, it’s interesting to imagine what could have been if Roberto had joined the club instead. The team has struggled in recent years to find a reliable alternative to Dani Carvajal, who, in turn, has suffered from various fitness-related issues.
Real Madrid, in fact, are likely to enter the market for a new right-back in the coming summer, with Bayer Leverkusen starlet Jeremie Frimpong emerging as one of their top targets.
Real Madrid News
Real Madrid winger has two future destinations on table for next season
Real Madrid set out on a mission to change the minds of Dani Ceballos, Marco Asensio and Nacho Fernandez earlier this week. After all, all three players were contemplating a departure from the club for a gross lack of minutes.
Los Blancos’ latest approach seems to have impacted Ceballos’ position in a positive fashion. However, Fabrizio Romano reveals that it has not changed Marco Asensio’s mind.
According to the Italian journalist, the Spaniard will leave Real Madrid at the end of the season as a free agent.
Of the numerous options on his table, he sees Aston Villa and PSG to be the best bets. In fact, Villa have already submitted their opening bid for the player as revealed by Fabrizio Romano once again.
After a dramatic final day of action in the Premier League, Aston Villa finished in the European spots and will participate in the UEFA Conference League next season. While a move to the English club would be a steep step down, it will see Asensio receive regular playing time.
Paris-Saint Germain, on that front, appears the more probable destination. The French club are close to losing both Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr ahead of the new season, and Asensio would thus fit in as a starting quality winger. Moreover, they offer Champions League football.
The Spaniard’s role at Real Madrid this season has not been minor by any means considering his contributions. In 30 La Liga appearances, the 27-year-old has scored nine goals and provided six assists in addition to creating nine big chances and averaging 1.4 key passes per game.
However, that does not satisfy the winger who wishes to be a starter week in and week out. His departure in June appears to be now written in stone, and the club should feel hard done to not make a penny of his move.
Many in Los Blancos’ administration see Brahim Diaz as a direct replacement for the Spanish international if he leaves. Needless to say, the AC Milan star’s future will closely depend on Asensio’s situation.