Reported Liverpool transfer target Marco Asensio is set to sign a new contract to stay at Real Madrid.
The Spain international was due to be a free agent this summer, upon expiry of his current deal. But according to The Athletic, Asensio is now ‘expected’ to extend his terms with the European champions.
However, it’s claimed that there is still to be complete agreement on length of contract and salary. Nevertheless, Asensio is said to be intending to stay in Madrid, rebuffing reported interest from AC Milan, Juventus and ‘unnamed Premier League clubs.’
Manager Carlo Ancelotti is claimed to have been a big influence in Asensio’s decision, repeatedly insisting upon the 27-year-old staying at the Santiago Bernabeu. It now looks like the Italian will get his wish.
Although a move to Liverpool had always felt unlikely, that didn’t stop reports filtering through that it was a distinct possibility. Not anymore it would seem.
Asensio makes Liverpool’s mind up
On the face of it, a move for Asensio on a free transfer would have made some sense for Liverpool. As a left-footed forward, he could have provided something that the Reds don’t really currently have – natural cover for Mohamed Salah.
Capable of playing centrally or also a little deeper, Asensio could have been a versatile addition to the squad. The Spaniard is also a seasoned international and a serial winner with Madrid.
But despite those positives, it would also have been a major surprise to see Asensio at Anfield next season.
Liverpool aren’t really in the business of signing up high-profile free agents. No doubt wary of the potential for enlarged wage demands, they tend to stay away unless they feel it’s too good to turn down.
In Asensio’s case, there are plenty of better options out there right now. A free signing may have saved them around £42m – Madrid’s reported asking price for the player last year – but that wouldn’t be reason enough to sign him.
Ultimately, it looks as though Liverpool will have the decision taken away from them anyway. As it always looked like he would, Asensio looks set to be a Madrid player for years to come.