Premier League • England

Arsenal in clear for January signing of Real Madrid attacker as Arteta urgency beats two transfer rivals

Real Madrid forwards Marco Asensio and Vinicius Jr.

Premier League leaders Arsenal are eager to sign a winger from Real Madrid during the January transfer window, according to a report.

Top of the Premier League by Christmas, it is fair to say the first part of the season has gone well for Arsenal. Their challenge will be to pick their momentum back up after the World Cup.

Last season, they were on course for Champions League qualification until slipping out of the top four close to the end of the campaign. Ambitions have grown this time around, but they will not want to repeat the trend of losing grip of their target at a late stage of the season.

Hence, Arsenal are exploring their options in the January transfer window to give themselves a boost midway through the season.

They have been tipped to bring in another winger to help ease the burden on Bukayo Saka. For example, Shakhtar Donetsk starlet Mykhaylo Mudryk is someone for whom a move mutually appeals.

However, Mudryk might cost a fortune to sign. Therefore, Arsenal might be looking for some cheaper alternatives.

According to Calciomercatoweb, one player they can sign in January out wide is Marco Asensio. His contract with Real Madrid is due to expire at the end of the season. Therefore, he should be more affordable.

Asensio joined Real Madrid in 2014 and became a part of their first-team squad two years later after developing out on loan.

In the time since, he has amassed 250 appearances and 52 goals. His medal collection includes three titles each of La Liga, the Champions League, the Super Cup and the Club World Cup, as well as two editions of the Supercopa De Espana.

Last season was Asensio’s best in terms of goalscoring for Real Madrid. His tally of 10 in La Liga was the first time he had hit double figures in the competition.

It could soon be time for Asensio to test himself outside his native country, though. Per Calciomercatoweb, it looks unlikely that he will renew his contract at the Bernabeu.

Therefore, other clubs have been keeping tabs on his situation. Previously, it has seemed like he might be off to Italy with either Juventus or AC Milan – hence Calciomercatoweb‘s interest in the story.

But the Italian source has provided an update that Arsenal now look to be in pole position to sign the Spain international.

Unlike his Serie A suitors, Arsenal – at the request of manager Mikel Arteta – are willing to bid for Asensio in January rather than waiting to take him on a free in the summer.

Marco Asensio could be affordable and exciting Arsenal signing

The report does not make clear how much it might cost to prise him away from the Spanish capital. However, given his contract situation, it shouldn’t be too much.

Asensio will celebrate his 27th birthday in January. Hence, Arsenal could be taking a player in the prime of his career.

As a left-footed winger who primarily plays on the right-hand side, Asensio would be a direct competitor to Saka.

Saka has scored five goals from 20 appearances this season, as well as six assists. In contrast, Asensio has three goals and assists each from 15 appearances.

Arsenal will have to be careful they would not be blocking the progress of their academy graduate. But the opportunity to add a player of Champions League pedigree is an exciting one.

Hence, there could be room for both of them to compete at the Emirates Stadium. There will be more work to do though if Asensio is to arrive in north London.

Coincidentally, according to other reports, one Arsenal attacker has ended up on Real Madrid’s own radar.