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 maintain full confidence in Turkish starlet despite injury woes
Arda Guler’s Real Madrid stint has not gotten off to the start he would have hoped to have given the expectation that preceded the transfer.
Having joined in the summer after Real Madrid outbid their competition to win him over from Fenerbahce for a 20-million-euro fee, buzz was high as the winger was expected to slot into the team quite seamlessly, albeit on a rotational basis.
Unfortunately for the 18-year-old, he has been constantly marred by injuries since completing the move.
Reports have stated that after Guler picked up his third injury since his move, Real Madrid have been concerned and want to take things slow with the player to ensure he is fit as soon as possible after an injury to his quadriceps this time.
The Turk is yet to make his competitive debut for the club, and Real Madrid even sacked their medical chief in November, in light of their injury crises since the beginning of the season.
No loan deal for Guler
However, according to Fabrizio Romano in a recent YouTube video, he states that Madrid maintain full trust and patience in the youngster.
Despite his bad luck with injuries, the latest of which he is scheduled to return from after Christmas, the Galacticos have no intention of loaning out Guler to Turkish clubs despite lots of speculation of them doing so of late.
Romano states that Madrid remain firm on not shaking things up too much with the squad, and they want to keep their roster stable, including Arda Guler.
They want to extend their full support and protection to the player as he aims to return to full fitness and finally make his bow for Madrid either by the end of this month or in 2024.