Arsenal spent more money in transfer fees this summer than any other European club but were unsuccessful in their attempt to sign Real Madrid forward Marco Asensio
The 25-year-old grabbed the headlines this week as he netted a hat-trick for Carlo Ancelotti’s side in his first start of the season in a 6-1 victory over his former side Real Mallorca.
Karim Benzema , Eden Hazard , Vinicius Junior , Gareth Bale , Rodrygo Goes and Lucas Vazquez are among the other forward options at Madrid, who also made an attempt to sign Kylian Mbappe in a world record transfer this summer.
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That had ensured Asensio fell from prominence in the Spanish capital and Wednesday night’s hat-trick came in his first start of the season – having been overlooked in each of his side’s opening six matches.
Spanish radio station Cadena Ser confirmed on Friday that the club received one official bid this summer and that was from Arsenal, who made an offer of £34million, while Spurs and Milan were the other two clubs with eyes on his future.
Real Madrid rejected this approach – a sign that they still value Asensio’s contribution to the squad – despite allowing Martin Odegaard to join the Gunners in a permanent deal this summer.
Both clubs share close relations at boardroom level, having facilitated the deals of Odegaard and Dani Ceballos in recent seasons.
A report earlier this week in Marca claimed that there was ‘tension’ at Los Blancos regarding the situation of the player, who was valued more than Zinedine Zidane then returning boss Ancelotti.
Question marks over the player’s future in the Spanish capital have almost disappeared since his starring midweek performance, where he grabbed a sensational hat-trick to stake his claim in the squad.
Asensio joined Madrid in 2014 but spent his first two seasons at the club on loan spells at Mallorca and Espanyol, but swiftly grew into a star at the giants.
The wide forward was somewhat of a young prodigy at the club and he bagged double figures in his first two full seasons in the first-team squad between 2016 and 2018.
He suffered a dip in form the following campaign before suffering a LCL knee ligament injury in summer 2019 – which ruled him out of action for a year.
The forward had scored eight goals in 43 La Liga appearances under Zidane since his return to action in July 2020, while he also netted two Champions League knockout goals last season – against Atalanta and Liverpool respectively.
Despite Real Madrid slimming down their first-team squad in recent years with relatively few signings and multiple player exits, Asensio has remained firmly in the plans.
The club showed no interest in selling him this summer and he once again appears to have a long-term future in Ancelotti’s squad.