Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images
More Marco Asensio contract claims have emerged, with the latest round of rumours saying the star youngster has demanded an “emergency meeting” with Real Madrid amid reported interest from Arsenal.
According to Catalan outlet Diario Gol (h/t The Sun‘s Jake Lambourne), the 21-year-old will use the Gunners’ interest to leverage a new contract, with Arsenal said to be keen on using his £72 million buy-out clause.
The report also states he’s “desperate” to learn what his future at the club will be, but he has no intention of leaving.
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The news follows just days after another Catalan newspaper, Mundo Deportivo (via The Sun‘s Andrew Richardson) reported Asensio is ready to sign a new contract with a £136 million clause. Earlier this summer, Ed Malyon of The Independent even went as far as to suggest an astronomical £310 million clause would be inserted in the new deal.
All sources seem to agree the former Mallorca man will stay in the Spanish capital, despite reported interest from several clubs, including Arsenal. Asensio enjoyed a breakthrough season last year, capped off by a goal in the UEFA Champions League final.
He also stood out in the UEFA Under-21 Euro tournament, where he scored a wonder goal that has since been nominated for the Goal of the Year award:
UEFA U21 EURO @UEFAUnder21
Remember this beauty from @marcoasensio10?
It’s up for #GoalOfTheSeason!
⚽️👉 https://t.co/OsyYDB63jU https://t.co/hbxmbkjNsP
Asensio headlines a potent group of star prospects currently on the books at Real. Fellow Under-21 Euro standout Dani Ceballos was bought during the summer, and the likes of Jesus Vallejo, Marcos Llorente, Mateo Kovacic and Theo Hernandez are also regarded as stars of the future.
While Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema still make up arguably the most potent attacking trio in the world, the likes of Asensio will see their role increase as time goes on, with those three ageing. All have some serious miles under their belt already, to go with some injury trouble over the years.
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There’s little doubt Asensio will stay with Real for the foreseeable future, but as long as a new contract isn’t agreed on, exit rumours will persist. Speculation he’s set to sign a deal has been rampant for months, but so far, there hasn’t been any official confirmation.
Spending £72 million on a young player who isn’t yet a regular starter isn’t something people would expect from manager Arsene Wenger, but even if he did, it’s hard to see Asensio giving up his dream of starring for Los Blancos in favour of an English adventure.