Real Madrid are reportedly ready to shift their focus on to former Liverpool forward Iago Aspas, who is currently plying his trade for Celta Vigo.
Spanish publication Sport are speculating that Real Madrid are set to withdraw their interest in Rodrigo. The European champions are set to pursue another La Liga forward instead, with former Liverpool and current Celta Vigo star Iago Aspas emerging as an alternative, the Sport cites El Chiringuito as the source.
Iago Aspas has always been a steady customer in front of the goal. But, he never managed to get going in the Premier League following his move to Liverpool. In the end, he returned to the club where he had gained a following for his instincts – Celta Vigo.
At Celta Vigo, he quickly regained his old form, which has improved every season. The 2017-18 La Liga campaign saw Aspas return a tally of 22 goals, becoming the highest goalscorer behind the trio of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Real Madrid have been longing for a new forward to add to their squad before the summer transfer window slams shut. Cristiano Ronaldo is a player whose departure cannot be mitigated by the arrival of a single identity. But, Gareth Bale has started showing signs that he can step up to the plate.
Despite Bale’s renaissance, Real Madrid need a reliable back-up option should Karim Benzema continue to be a forlorn figure in front of goal – the search for a striker which has led them to Valencia star Rodrigo. Julen Lopetegui looked keen to land the Spaniard.
But, Real Madrid are reportedly set to withdraw their interest in the striker after Valencia made it clear that any suitor will have to activate the €120 million buyout clause if they were to be serious about signing Rodrigo. On the other hand, the striker himself does not seem to be willing to push for a move, which has led Real Madrid to look at other options.
Another option from within the domestic league is Iago Aspas. While the player has struggled at the only ‘big club’ he played for, one can argue that Aspas has only shined at home in Spain and perhaps, might have found the conditions and football in England too different.
The disappointing stint at Liverpool is not the only potential deterrent. Real Madrid have established a new policy of targeting young profiles and Aspas is 31. Should Los Blancos go for the Spaniard, the pursuit will be one that defies the policy.
Aspas has a €40 million buyout clause, which brings us to the next point. Florentino Perez has never shied away from spending the big bucks. But, the Real Madrid president will think twice about spending the aforementioned amount on a player on the other side of 30 with no proven record at a ‘big club’.
All in all, this looks like it will most probably stay a rumour unless Real Madrid become desperate. A potential panic-driven deadline-day buy is all we can see Aspas be for Real.