With each passing day it becomes increasingly likely that the most stunning transfer of the summer will involve Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure from Real Madrid. The Portuguese star is reportedly closing in on a remarkable €100m move to Italian champions Juventus.
There is little doubt that the European champions will use this cash to reinvest in their attacking ranks but the 33-year-old’s departure could be the catalyst for Marco Asensio’s huge potential to be utilised by Los Blancos.
The Spain international is one of the brightest talents in world football and that was reflected in his extended Madrid deal, signed last year and which runs through until June 2023, to propel his release clause at the club to €700m. The message was simple: the 22-year-old would not be sold under any circumstances. Signed for just €3.9m from Real Mallorca in 2014, it is a remarkable hike in value.
Asensio was selected for Spain’s World Cup last 16 tie – and eventual shock exit – at the hands of hosts Russia, showing that despite the world-class competition for spots with La Roja, he is not out of place with such company.
The appointment of new Coach Julen Lopetegui at Madrid should provide a massive boost for Asensio’s hopes of regular first-team football. The new boss is a firm believer in youth development and nurtured the winger through his youth development at international level, where he then blossomed under Lopetegui’s successor, Albert Celades.
The exciting forward was deployed in 53 matches at Madrid last season under Zinedine – the 13th most used player in another tumultuous campaign, which eventually brought a third successive European title. It was only 14 months ago that Asensio netted in the Champions League final to help down Juventus.
As with any player who is valued so highly, links with a transfer away are inevitable and Asensio was no different. Ahead of the World Cup, speculative reports suggested clubs were willing to offer €150m for his services with Liverpool even linked to a remarkable €180m bid. However, it does not appear that any such move will materialise this year.
“Marco will stay at Real Madrid, he will not be moving,” Horacio Gaggioli is cited by Diario AS telling Calciomercato. “Next season he will be a very important player for Madrid and he is improving all the time.”
Madrid will certainly invest in their squad this summer but they would be wise to evaluate their current crop of stars, who have the raw abilities and determination to keep them at the very top.
Do you have what it takes to challenge the best La Liga Fantasy Managers? If you’re up for the challenge then play www.liga-fantasy.com now!