Why Marco Asensio could leave Real Madrid this summer
Real Madrid's young prodigy, Marco Asensio, is reportedly on the verge of quitting the Spanish capital this summer. Having broken into the first-team last season and playing a pivotal part in their Champions League-winning campaign, he now finds himself on the substitutes' bench struggling to get any sort of regular minutes from the sidelines.
Here, we analyse why he could soon be out of the Santiago Bernabeu.
Real's struggling form
Real Madrid have been on a woeful run of form this season, surprisingly finding regular victories hard to come by. Their title race is already over midway through the campaign, as they find themselves a whopping 18 points behind leaders Barcelona.
Even with their poor form, Asensio has not been given an extended opportunity to showcase his ability and instead forced to watch most matches from the bench. More was expected from the 22-year-old after a stellar campaign last term, but his development has stagnated somewhat since the summer months.
Place in Spain's squad up for grabs
Tipped to be a part of Spain's World Cup squad this summer after an excellent campaign with Spain's u21 European Championship side, he was dominant on the left-hand side and continued developing his reputation as one of Europe's most promising young talents.
However, his place on the plane this summer is definitely in jeopardy. If he has any aspirations of making it to Russia after the season's end, he'll need to play more regularly under Zidane - stuttering form or not - going forward.
"I'm sure they will play again, but I'm worried that Marco and Isco play little," Lopetegui told reporters at the Spanish Sports Press Awards.
Zidane's preferences and teams interested
Surprisingly, Zinedine Zidane's refusal to utilise Asensio in an attempt to revive Real's campaign is hurting the Spaniard's progression. Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema are all misfiring this term and still, the Frenchman persists to select the BBC in attack - while Lucas Vazquez is first-choice understudy if any of the trio are unavailable.
Whether he's pushing him out of Madrid or not remains to be seen, but there are undoubtedly questions which need answering there.
Interested teams are monitoring his situation, too. Premier League rivals Chelsea and Manchester United both have been linked, while Liverpool and Arsenal were reportedly keen on his signature last summer - though a hefty release clause cooled the pair's interest.
Being potentially part of a swap deal for Eden Hazard could also be on the cards, meaning interest from teams such as Juventus and Bayern Munich would decrease as a result. Regardless, his long-term future is important and he needs to have stability going forward.