Real Madrid fear Marco Asensio already has an agreement with Premier League giants Newcastle United, which is why he's stalling his contract extension. The sensational claim comes from Spanish news outlet El Nacional, who speculate that the Spaniard could leave as a free agent this summer.
Asensio joined Real Madrid from Mallorca for €3.9 million in 2015. The Spaniard has scored impressive goals and put in memorable displays but is yet to cement his place as a regular. Carlo Ancelotti has used him in a rotational capacity this season, reportedly leaving the player unhappy.
It has been claimed that Madrid president Florentino Perez fears that Asensio already has an agreement with another team. Perez reckons Asensio’s agent Jorge Mendes, who has strong ties in England, has already secured his client's move to Newcastle United and is simply stalling an extension to increase his client’s value.
With plenty of money coming in from their Saudi Arabian owners, Newcastle have one of the most stimulating projects in the game. The Herons are fifth in the Premier League and have a realistic chance of securing European football next season. Eddie Howe has also orchestrated an impressive brand of football, making the club an enticing proposition for attackers.
Newcastle reportedly wish to take things slow and not invest heavily in high-ticket players. So they want to bring in Asensio, who would not cost a dime in transfer fee while bringing in an abundance of experience. Asensio, too, could benefit from the deal, as Newcastle could give him a fat salary with the money they save on his transfer fees.
Real Madrid, meanwhile, are not convinced about Asensio’s renewal, as he draws a sizable salary for a player operating mostly off the bench. With three months remaining before his contract expires, Madrid must act quickly if they wish to keep the right winger next season.
Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti sends strong message to Barcelona ahead of Copa del Rey clash
Real Madrid received a 3-1 drubbing in their previous meeting with Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup final in January. Los Blancos were all over the place in that game and were lucky to avoid an even bigger loss.
With the memory of the defeat still fresh, Real Madrid host Barcelona in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semifinals on Thursday (March 2). Ahead of the showdown, Ancelotti said that his team would be forceful and determined in the Clasico. He said (via 90min):
“We have evaluated everything. In the Super Cup, we lacked commitment and forcefulness, with individual mistakes that will not be repeated. We are close to winning an important competition, and we are going to compete. It’s not the decisive game, but we want to gain an advantage.”
The second leg of the Copa del Rey Clasico will take place at the Camp Nou on April 5.