Premier League • England

Liverpool in five-way hunt for Real Madrid star Ancelotti has ‘jealousy’ theory about

Jonny Whitfield
Marco Asensio, Eduardo Camavinga Real Madrid v Mallorca September 2021

Liverpool and Arsenal are among five clubs showing transfer interest in Real Madrid forward Marco Asensio, according to a report.

The 25-year-old has proved a key player for Madrid for large parts since he signed in 2015. In fact, he has racked up 204 appearances for the club in a range of attacking positions.

But while he has been a regular feature, he has continued to have links with a move elsewhere.

Indeed, Liverpool, Arsenal, Leicester and Everton have all reportedly eyed up a move for Asensio.

This season, though, his influence has waned and reports have again surfaced that he could leave. He has played nine of 11 La Liga games, but has started just three.

As El Nacional reports, that is because Vinicius Junior has stolen the show. The Brazilian has started nine of the 11 games, netting seven goals and assisting three others.

The Spanish outlet reports that Asensio believes he should have a greater role in manager Carlo Ancelotti’s squad.

Despite an injury to Rodrygo presenting an opportunity to Asensio, he still has interest from elsewhere. As well as Liverpool and Arsenal, Juventus, AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund are in the hunt for his signature.

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What’s more, Dortmund are leading the race for the Spain international. They have strong relations with Madrid, following recent transfer exchanges between the teams.

Should Asensio decide to leave, he will have to speak to Madrid president Florentino Perez and outline his wishes.

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He would also have to negotiate with Ancelotti, who wants to keep the attacker in the Spanish capital.

But El Nacional claims that if Asensio did leave, Ancelotti would believe it is because he is ‘jealous’ of Vinicius’ greater role in the team this season. Asensio has just over two years left on his contract.

Ancelotti reassures Asensio over role

Marco Asensio Arsenal Real Madrid

Speaking in September, Ancelotti insisted that Asensio must not worry over his game time.

The manager said: “Everyone knows what I think of him, putting together a lineup is complicated.

“It may be that he’s unhappy, that’s normal. It would be abnormal for a player who doesn’t play to be happy. If Asensio, Isco, [Luka] Jovic aren’t happy, that’s fine. They don’t have to be. He trains well, and I like that.

“If everyone is plugged in they’ll have minutes. Isco and Jovic changed the dynamic of the team when they came on.”

Madrid currently sit second in La Liga, a point behind leaders Real Sociedad with a game in hand.