According to a surprising report from Mundo Deportivo, Real Madrid winger Marco Asensio has emerged as a transfer target for arch-rivals Barcelona next summer.
Asensio has less than a year left on his contract with Real Madrid and talks over a new deal broke down earlier this year due to his exorbitant wage demands. In the aftermath of negotiations falling through, the 26-year-old star tried to secure an exit from the club but to no avail.
Having stayed put at the Santiago Bernabeu, Asensio has been starved of game-time this season and has had to suffice with sporadic minutes every now and then as a substitute. However, he did manage to score his first goal of the season last week against RB Leipzig.
Fabrizio Romano earlier reported that some clubs were already starting to assess the possibility of signing the Spanish forward on a free transfer next year. And it seems that Barcelona have also now joined the list of interested parties.
The Blaugrana, as per the report, see Asensio as a mature player with still plenty of years left in his career and value him for his ability to play anywhere in attack and his tactical adaptability.
Even though he was not a regular under Carlo Ancelotti last season as well, the former Mallorca ace managed to bag ten goals in 31 league matches (19 starts), which Barcelona believe shows his quality to make a difference.
And, hence, they are keeping a close watch on Asensio’s situation, as the winger can start negotiations with other clubs over a free transfer next summer starting from January 2023 itself.
Asensio is represented by super-agent Jorge Mendes, who has a very good relationship with Barcelona president Joan Laporta.
The Spaniard remains on the radars of clubs like Liverpool, AC Milan and Arsenal, though, and it will certainly be intriguing to see whether this initial interest from Barcelona leads to something substantial come 2023.
Real Madrid closely following the progress of 19-year-old Brazilian centre-back
Real Madrid have made it a habit to identify and sign the best young talents from Brazil in recent times. The Merengues recently signed Endrick Felipe from Palmeiras, although the striker will join the club in 2024, once he turns 18 years old.
Now, according to journalist Bruno Andrade on UOL Esporte, Real Madrid have set their sights on 19-year-old Brazilian defender Robert Renan.
The teenage centre-half came through the ranks at Corinthians and went on to make 13 senior appearances for the Brazilian outfit. He left the club last month to sign for Russian giants Zenit St. Petersburg as part of the operation involving Yuri Alberto.
Renan is yet to make his debut for Zenit, but Real Madrid have had their eyes on the 19-year-old for a while now and have been closely following his progress and performances.
The teenage defender is currently a part of the Brazil U-20 team at the South American U-20 Championship in Colombia. And he has performed admirably in the tournament, featuring in each of his team’s five matches so far.
Renan’s performances in the U-20 Championship are said to have further piqued the interest of Real Madrid.
The report suggests that Los Blancos will continue keeping tabs on the young defender’s development at Zenit over the coming months.
With Nacho Fernandez’s contract expiring at the end of the season and Jesus Vallejo’s future uncertain as well, Real Madrid could use a defensive reinforcement in the summer to support Eder Militao, David Alaba and Antonio Rudiger.
Established players such as Josko Gvardiol have been linked with a move to the Bernabeu.
Renan, too, could be an option for Real Madrid in the summer. But, as things stand, the interest in the Brazilian is at a very nascent stage and the Merengues will continue to track his progress at Zenit, where his contract runs until 2028.