Real Madrid mounted a second-half comeback to defeat Villarreal 3-2 on Thursday night and secure a place in the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey. Having been trailing by two goals at the break, Los Blancos‘ tremendous showing in the second period stole the show.
However, a particular incident involving Carlo Ancelotti and Rodrygo in the second period has seemingly caught the eye of the fans and the media.
Upon being taken off in the second half, Rodrygo trudged off the pitch and did not acknowledge his manager or shake his hand. This sparked a furious reaction from Ancelotti, who was seen admonishing the Brazilian on the bench soon after.
The manager downplayed the incident in his post-match presser, as he said: “He had a slight muscle strain and I decided not to risk him. He didn’t acknowledge me because I think he forgot, I don’t think it’s a big deal.”
However, according to Antonio Romero on Cadena SER, there could be more to Rodrygo’s actions than just him forgetting to shake Ancelotti’s hands.
As per the report, the 22-year-old forward has been telling his inner circle that he is tired of always being a substitute even though he has shown enough to earn a place in the starting XI.
Furthermore, Rodrygo is also said to have grown frustrated as he feels that even when he does start a game, he is always the first one to be substituted by the manager, as was the case on Thursday night against Villarreal.
Of his 25 appearances this season, Rodrygo has started as many as 18. However, it must be noted that many of those starts came due to Karim Benzema’s injury-enforced absence before the World Cup break. Otherwise, Ancelotti, more often than not, has preferred the frontline of Vinicius Jr, Benzema, and Federico Valverde.
Since the World Cup break, the Brazilian has not started in either of Real Madrid’s two La Liga games, and he was not a part of the first XI against Barcelona in the Copa del Rey either.
Given the number of important goals he scored last season, there is a case to be made for Ancelotti to trust him more in important matches.
Real Madrid forward set for talks with Arsenal this week – report
With less than six months left on his contract, Marco Asensio looks to be on his way out of Real Madrid very soon. The Spaniard has not yet started talks to extend his contract with the Spanish giants, which has garnered the eyes from several top clubs across Europe.
One of the clubs interested in his signature happens to be Premier League leaders Arsenal. Mikel Arteta is said to be a fan of the player, and will try to be bring him to North London on a free transfer this summer.
According to Mirror, Asensio’s agents will fly to London this week to get an a better understanding Arsenal’s interest in the player. Talks are scheduled with Arsenal, among possibly other clubs.
Asensio’s priority remains to extend with Arsenal, but not at ‘any cost’. The winger is looking for raise with his new contract to go along with a four-year deal. The report states that he currently earns around €130,000 per week at Madrid.
The 27-year-old has been waiting for an official offer from Los Blancos for a while, but the club will wait for March or April before taking a decision on his extension.
Asensio took a while to grow important for Carlo Ancelotti this season, but has been featuring regularly on the right-wing lately. He even scored in 2-0 win against Valencia in midweek, taking his tally to two for the season, excluding three assists as well.
Arsenal are definitely looking to add more firepower to their squad for next season, having already brought in Leandro Trossard in the winter. Asensio could serve as the perfect backup to Bukayo Saka, who has been in incredible form all season.