According to reports in Spain, Arsenal are keeping their tabs open on Real Madrid attacker Marco Asensio. With the forward’s deal at the Bernabeu set to expire at the end of the season, the Gunners have reportedly made contact with the player’s representatives over a potential free transfer in the summer.
With Arsenal doing well on the pitch this season, it is natural that they get linked to some high-profile names. The club are busy planning their ins and outs, with the summer window just three months away. One of the rumoured names doing the rounds is Real Madrid’s prolific attacker Marco Asensio.
The Premier League title race is heating up with more than half of the season over. The Gunners are currently leading the points table, ahead of Man City by five points. The recent 3-2 win over Bournemouth, that too courtesy of a last-second winner from Academy graduate Reiss Nelson, helped them further consolidate their position at the top.
Image Obtained Via Football Espana
While manager Mikel Arteta is taking care of the matters on the field, Sporting Director Edu and his team are busy doing their job off the pitch. Fans around the world know and acknowledge the fact that the wonderful job done by the board during the last two transfer windows played a big part in their recent success. Thus, the board is busy finalising their targets before the summer window officially opens.
According to Spanish outlet Fichajes (via Daily Cannon), Arsenal are very keen on bringing Marco Asensio to the Emirates Stadium this summer. The North London side are planning to sign the Spaniard on a free transfer as his contract at the Bernabeu ends in June this year.
The 27-year-old’s future with the Los Blancos remains uncertain as the Spanish giants are looking to wait till April before deciding on the player’s future. Since there have been no guarantees from the La Liga side even after an upturn in form, he also seems quite unwilling to sign an extension.
Moreover, the Mirror reported last month that the Spaniard’s representatives flew to London to discuss offers from English clubs. The Gunners are definitely interested in signing the winger, but there could be issues regarding the financial side.
The Spain international prefers a four-year contract with a wage higher than his current £118,000-per-week at the La Liga club. Currently, just six players earn more than Marco Asensio at Arsenal, with Gabriel Jesus earning the highest at £265k-per-week.
Meanwhile, Carlo Ancelotti has given the green light on the 27-year-old’s transfer. The Italian manager, who could himself be leaving the club for the Brazil national team, did not fuss much about the Spanish forward’s future. He said (via GOAL):
“He looks good to me, so I don’t know if he stays or not. Maybe he does, maybe he doesn’t. I don’t care much.
“We have some important challenges this season. The most important thing is that he contributes like last year.
“Let him continue as he is doing now. Then the club makes the most appropriate decision in the end.”
Marco Asensio joined Real Madrid as a teenager from Real Mallorca in the summer of 2014 for just £2.5m. He spent the 2015/16 season on loan at Espanyol. Since then, he has featured in 266 matches for Real Madrid and has 55 goals and 29 assists for the Spanish giants in all competitions (stats via Transfermarkt).
During his time at the Bernabeu, spanning more than six seasons, the winger has won it all — La Liga, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Supercup, FIFA Club World Cup and many other trophies. He also has 35 appearances with the Spain national team.
This season, under manager Carlo Ancelotti, the 27-year-old had earlier struggled for game-time. He has 6 goals and 5 assists in 31 appearances, but his average playing time is just around 37 minutes per game. Nevertheless, despite the improvement in his form and minutes, there is no surety regarding his future at Madrid.
There is also the factor of regular game-time. The Spanish winger’s willingness to sign a deal with any club will depend on regular minutes on the pitch. The Gunners are targeting him as a competition for Bukayo Saka, who is having an exceptional season.
This is another obstacle in their pursuit of Asensio, as more than wages, the Spanish international is looking for regular playing time. Given the current squad depth, there is hardly any chance that he becomes a part of the regular eleven.
Moreover, the prospect of signing the 27-year-old on a free transfer has tempted other European clubs as well. The list includes Manchester United, Leeds United, Newcastle United, AC Milan, as well as Spanish rivals Barcelona. Thus, Arsenal have to be quick in their pursuit of Marco Asensio.
With Mikel Arteta a fan of Asensio’s style, it remains to be seen how this saga unravels and whether Arsenal are successful in roping in this exciting attacker.