Friday, February 10, 2023

DEAL VERY CLOSE: Arsenal in advanced talks to sign Real Madrid forward

The agents of Real Madrid attacker Marco Asensio will reportedly fly into London this week to hold talks with Premier League clubs, including Arsenal.

The 27-year-old now has fewer than six months left to run on his contract with the Spanish and European champions and is widely expected to leave this summer.

 

Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo and Federico Valverde are all ahead of Asensio in the wingers’ pecking order, restricting the Spain international to just five La Liga starts this season.

Having remained in Madrid during the January transfer window, Asensio will be free to hold talks with foreign teams before leaving Carlo Ancelotti’s side on a free transfer.

A shock move to Barcelona has been strongly mooted for the attacker, but he is also understood to have attracted glances from clubs in the Premier League.

According to The Mirror, Asensio’s entourage are due to touch down in the English capital this week as they attempt to gauge interest in their client, who is admired by Mikel Arteta.

As a result, Arsenal are one of a number of clubs due to speak with Asensio’s agents, but the Spaniard is supposedly after a rise on his current £118,000-a-week wage to make the move to England.

Real Madrid will wait another couple of months before deciding whether to hand Asensio a renewal, and should he decide to advance his career in England, he would be seeking a four-year Premier League contract.

However, Real president Florentino Perez – who has taken a liking to Asensio – would reportedly be happy to see the attacker stay at the Bernabeu as his playing situation slowly improves.

Asensio has started three of Real Madrid’s last four games in La Liga, during which he scored and played the full 90 in a 2-0 win over Valencia last Thursday.

The former Mallorca youngster was also named in the first XI against his former club on Sunday, but he was taken off on the 71-minute mark as Ancelotti’s side slumped to a 1-0 defeat.

Since joining Real Madrid from Mallorca in a €3.9m (£3.5m) deal in the summer of 2016, Asensio has gone on to register 53 goals and 29 assists in 261 matches for Los Blancos in all tournaments.

The Spain international has won a total of 15 trophies during his time with the capital giants, including three Champions Leagues, three La Liga crowns, three Club World Cups, three UEFA Super Cups and three Supercopa de Espanas.

Defeat to Mallorca leaves Real Madrid eight points behind leaders Barcelona in the La Liga table, and Ancelotti’s men are next in action against Al Ahly in the semi-finals of the Club World Cup at Morocco’s Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium on Wednesday.

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