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The stars could be aligning for Arsenal or Newcastle to sign Marco Asensio with Real Madrid feeling the pressure to sell while they can. A move to the Premier League may be even more likely now that Barcelona have entered the equation, with Los Blancos sure to have reservations about dealing with their bitter rivals.
Asensio is approaching a crossroads in his career with less than one year remaining on his Real contract. There was talk of a new deal during the summer but, with concrete moves yet to materialise, pressure is ramping up on the club to sell in January at their last available opportunity.
If they don’t, Asensio could leave for free next summer. He will be at liberty to negotiate a free summer move in January but interested parties could beat the rush by offering Los Blancos a transfer fee for the 26-year-old.
According to Mundo Deportivo, Arsenal, Newcastle and AC Milan have now been joined by Barcelona in the hunt for Asensio’s services which could play into the Premier League duo’s hands.
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While losing a player of Asensio’s quality would come as a blow to Real boss Carlo Ancelotti, strengthening bitter rivals Barcelona in the process would be a painful kick in the teeth. Dealing with the Gunners or the Magpies may therefore prove a more palatable option, providing they’re willing to put enough money on the table.
Manchester United were linked towards the end of the summer transfer window with a £25.3million move touted. It remains to be seen if Real will hold out for a similar fee in January, or whether the asking price will have tumbled due to the threat of a free exit several months down the line.
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Asensio rose through the ranks with Mallorca before completing his move to the Bernabeu as a teenager in 2014. Since then, he has bagged 50 goals for Los Blancos, making well over 200 appearances and establishing himself as a fixture of the Spanish international squad.
Arsenal were expected to pursue a winger during the summer but changed course during the final weeks of the window due to Mohamed Elneny’s injury. The Gunners were left frustrated regardless as their deadline-day pursuit of Aston Villa star Douglas Luiz saw three of their bids knocked back.
Newcastle, meanwhile, are thought to be on the hunt for extra firepower out wide. Allan Saint-Maximin is one of the most dangerous players in the Premier League but Eddie Howe can’t match his quality on the opposite flank, with Asensio able to fill in out wide or in attacking midfield.
During the summer, Ancelotti confirmed that Asensio was exploring his options after eight years in the Spanish capital. “Marco is looking at things to see if he can leave,” he said. “If he doesn’t leave, he will 100 per cent be a Madrid player.”
Asensio has scored once in four appearances this season, coming off the bench in a win over Atletico Madrid on Sunday. His trophy cabinet includes three Champions Leagues, three Club World Cups and three La Liga titles.
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