Virgil van Dijk said Manchester United are not "at the same level" as Real Madrid as he offered transfer advice to his in-form Netherlands team-mate Cody Gakpo.

PSV forward Gakpo scored in each of the Netherlands' three group-stage games and played alongside Van Dijk as the Dutch defeated the United States 3-1 to reach the World Cup quarter-finals on Saturday.

With nine goals in 14 Eredivisie games this season, Gakpo's stock has continued to rise in Qatar and rumours of a switch to United have exacerbated since the Red Devils terminated the contract of Cristiano Ronaldo.

LaLiga heavyweights Madrid have also been registered with an interest, while Liverpool are also reportedly monitoring the situation.

Van Dijk has no doubt Gakpo is ready to take the next step in his career but offered a cheeky dig at Liverpool's rivals when speaking to reporters after the USA game.

"Are Manchester United and Real Madrid on the same level? No disrespect, not at all," he said.

"I definitely think he has that next step in him. I definitely feel like it could happen, whether that is in the winter or the summer or next year, time will tell. 

"He is a great boy who works hard, very talented and definitely there is more in him. We are so pleased he is doing so well for us. Long may it continue."

Gakpo did little to quell rumours of a January move when speaking to De Telegraaf about his future last week.

"As it stands now, I will still be playing for PSV after the winter break," he said. "But, as I said before the start of the World Cup, we will see what will happen."

Jude Bellingham is expected to leave Borussia Dortmund at the end of this season, with numerous clubs lining up to sign him.

The England international, who has impressed during the World Cup, is contracted with Dortmund until 2025.

It has been speculated that Bellingham will cost English clubs more than £100million to fund the deal.

TOP STORY – CITY TO USE GREALISH IN DEAL FOR BELLINGHAM

Manchester City will dangle Jack Grealish to Borussia Dortmund as part of a deal to land Bellingham, claims Football Insider.

Grealish, who City signed for £100m from Aston Villa 18 months ago, has not fully convinced since his switch to the English champions.

According to the report, City are intensifying their interest in Bellingham and are willing to use Grealish.

Le10Sport have also reported French powerhouse Paris Saint-Germain are also interested in 19-year-old Bellingham.

 

ROUND-UP

Liverpool are plotting a surprise move for Juventus forward Dusan Vlahovic, reports Calciomercato. The Serbian striker has scored six Serie A goals this term.

– Mundo Deportivo reports Borussia Dortmund's Thomas Meunier is willing to listen to offers from Milan, Juventus, Manchester United and two other Premier League clubs if Barcelona do not bid for him.

– Atletico Madrid forward Joao Felix is open to a Premier League switch amid interest from Chelsea, claims GiveMeSport transfer expert Dean Jones.

– Calciomercato reports that Arsenal are interested in a January move for Real Madrid's Marco Asensio.

Leeds United are interested in a January move for Newcastle forward Chris Wood, claims Football Insider. Wood left Leeds for Burnley in 2017.

Gabriel Jesus and Alex Telles will not recover from knee injuries in time to play again at the 2022 World Cup, Brazil confirmed on Saturday.

The pair had each been substituted in Friday's defeat to Cameroon, with team doctor Rodrigo Lasmar confirming afterwards they would have scans the following day.

Brazil have already been playing without Neymar, Danilo and Alex Sandro due to injuries, and their latest two setbacks are significant.

Reports in Brazil on Saturday had suggested Jesus would miss a month and Telles was potentially facing surgery, also representing blows to Arsenal and Sevilla.

A statement from the CBF subsequently confirmed neither would feature for the remainder of the World Cup.

"As announced by the CBF after the game against Cameroon, players Alex Telles and Gabriel Jesus underwent tests this Saturday morning," the statement read.

"Accompanied by the doctor of the Brazilian team, Rodrigo Lasmar, they performed an MRI on the right knee that confirmed the injuries and the impossibility of recovery in time to participate in the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

"The coordinator of the Brazilian national team, Juninho Paulista, is in contact with the sports directors of Arsenal and Sevilla to define whether Alex Telles and Gabriel Jesus remain with the squad in Doha for continuity of treatment or if they return to their clubs."

While Jesus was set to play only as Richarlison's back-up in the knockout stage, Telles could have been in line for a prominent role.

Alex Sandro is the only other natural left-back in the squad and is uncertain to return in time for the last-16 match against South Korea.

Brazil are at least more optimistic on the status of versatile right-back Danilo, who was set to return to full training on Saturday.

Lionel Messi will walk out the Ahmad bin Ali Stadium tunnel on Saturday with the expectations of millions on his shoulders when Argentina face Australia in the last 16 of Qatar 2022.

That is nothing new, of course, for this will be the 1,000th match of a remarkable career that may yet to have peaked – though that will depend on whether Messi can inspire his country past Australia and all the way to World Cup glory.

Now aged 35, Messi has already accepted this will be his final chance to lift the most famous trophy of them all, a little over a year on from helping La Albiceleste end their 28-year wait for a major title with Copa America success.

Ahead of the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner's milestone match, Stats Perform looks at the numbers behind his previous 999 appearances for club and country – and why the next two weeks could yet define his career.

Barca Breakthrough

October 16, 2004. It would not be hyperbolic to suggest this was a day that football as we know it changed, with a 17-year-old Messi replacing Deco from the substitutes' bench in Barcelona's 1-0 win over city rivals Espanyol.

In a sign of the mini maestro's longevity, he has since played alongside two players born after his Barcelona debut – Warren Zaire-Emery and El Chadaille Bitshiabu, born in March 2006 and May 2005 respectively.

Both teenagers are on Paris Saint-Germain's books, where Messi is now plying his trade after ending his two-decade association with Barcelona in emotional circumstances in August 2021.

Unsurprisingly, the majority of Messi's career appearances came during his 17 seasons at Camp Nou. He featured 778 times for Barca, scoring a staggering 672 goals and assisting 265, which amounts to 937 direct-goal involvements.

He made more appearances against Real Madrid than any other opponent, playing 47 times against Barca's fiercest rivals.

 

Good times under Guardiola

Barcelona's inability to offer Messi a new contract due to their dire financial situation allowed PSG to pounce. After an underwhelming first campaign in Paris, the superstar forward has found his form this term.

Messi has featured 53 times for the Parisians to date and has scored (23) and assisted (28) a combined 51 goals – just short of one goal involvement every match on average.

He has already had two different managers at the Parc des Princes, with Christophe Galtier having replaced Mauricio Pochettino in the hot seat. That takes the number of head coaches Messi has worked under to 19.

It was under Pep Guardiola at Barcelona, between 2008 and 2012, that Messi played his most games as he featured on 219 occasions under the Catalan and scored 211 times.

Luis Enrique is next on that list (158 games), followed by Ernesto Valverde (124) and Frank Rijkaard (110), the man who gave him his debut against Espanyol.


1,000 not out

Some 18 years and 48 days on from that first appearance comes match number 1,000 for club and country – and what a truly huge occasion it is for Messi and Argentina, who recovered from a slow start in the group phase to advance.

Messi has featured in 22 previous World Cup matches – one more than Diego Maradona as the most ever for an Argentina player – scoring eight times and assisting six more. 

Incredibly for a player of his game-changing quality, Messi has yet to score in the knockout stages of the World Cup – 23 efforts, zero goals. Interestingly, the same is also true of archenemy Cristiano Ronaldo (25 shots without a goal).

 

The aim for Messi will be to put that right against Australia on what will be his 169th senior cap, 17 years on from his senior international bow against Hungary, which came just 10 games into his career for club and country.

And while it will be a special occasion for Messi, the man many consider to be the greatest of all time will hope to make it to 1,003 matches before Argentina's Qatar campaign concludes.

Should that be the case and Argentina go on to lift the World Cup for the first time since 1986, a centre-stage Messi will have the defining moment of a truly special career that still has some way to go yet.

Real Madrid are long-term admirers of Bruno Fernandes, dating back to his time with Sporting CP.

The 28-year-old midfielder impressed with both goals in Portugal's 2-0 win over Uruguay at the World Cup on Monday.

Fernandes signed a new contract with Manchester United in April, keeping him at Old Trafford until 2026 with the option of a further year.

 

TOP STORY – REAL MADRID CONSIDER JANUARY MOVE FOR FERNANDES

Spanish giants Real Madrid could try to tempt Manchester United's Bruno Fernandes to the club in January or at the end of the season, reports The Express.

Los Blancos' long-held interest in Fernandes has intensified amid his impressive displays at the World Cup.

Portuguese outlet Record claims that Madrid are scouting Fernandes while he plays for the national team.

The Express report says that the lure of Champions League football may tempt Fernandes should United miss the top four this season.

 

ROUND-UP

Cristiano Ronaldo is close to agreeing to a deal with Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr, according to Marca. The Telegraph had reported that the deal was worth £150million per season, although The Sun has claimed that the ex-Manchester United star still wants to play Champions League football and has not accepted the offer.

Gareth Bale's LAFC contract has a break clause that could see him leave the club prior to the new MLS season in February 2023, according to The Sun. The Mirror claims the Welshman will make a decision on his future by February.

– The Mirror claims that Manchester United are bullish about retaining Marcus Rashford's services, with the striker out of contract at the end of this season. United will exercise an option to extend his deal by another 12 months in January.

Manchester United have made Bayer Leverkusen defender Jeremie Frimpong their top transfer target in January, reports the Daily Mail. United have sent scouts to watch the Dutch defender, with a view to ramping up talks after the World Cup.

– Inter expect €30m for Tottenham-target Denzel Dumfries, according to Tuttosport. The Nerazzurri are willing to sell the Dutch right-back in January.

– The Times reports Brighton and Hove Albion's Scottish midfielder Billy Gilmour could join Spanish club Villarreal in January.

Barcelona and Real Madrid have confirmed they will boycott next week's LaLiga summit in Dubai, which Los Blancos have labelled as "illegal".

Spanish top-flight clubs have been asked to attend the meeting on December 7 in which a number of topics regarding the league will be discussed.

However, LaLiga's two biggest clubs – who have been embroiled in a long-running battle with league chief Javier Tebas – will not be present in the United Arab Emirates.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Madrid questioned the location of the event and the timing.

"We believe the meeting is illegal, given that the clubs are being called to attend the meeting more than 5,000 kilometres away from LaLiga's headquarters," the statement read.
 
"It's completely unjustifiable to address in such an improvised and urgent manner, in the absence of the appropriate discussion and careful analysis, relevant modifications to LaLiga's internal regulations.
 
"It's completely inappropriate and deeply incoherent for LaLiga to undertake the economic expense of transporting more than 100 people to hold an event of this nature, at this time of year, in the United Arab Emirates, when the same could be held at LaLiga's headquarters without involving excessive costs. 

"Clubs are going through very difficult times financially, burdened by the drop in income experienced in recent years, making it incomprehensible that excessive and unnecessary expenses should be incurred, in particular in the current economic climate.
 
"Real Madrid will not be sending any representative to Dubai for the reasons stated above and once again laments having to act against the irresponsible actions taken by the president of LaLiga, which are of unjustifiable economic cost and which seriously undermine the image and reputation of Spanish football."

Barcelona's statement, which was released at the same time, read: "Extremely relevant business is on the agenda concerning the modification of LaLiga's regulations that requires prior debate and a more extensive and participatory analysis to come to the best consensus that such a wide-ranging reform deserves.

"Barcelona's position has always been that of reaching consensual agreements after having examined the issue coherently and respecting all positions.

"For that reason, we do not believe it is the right time to travel to Dubai for an event that could take place at LaLiga's headquarters and once again we show our opposition to any form of action that we consider damaging to the rights and interests of the club."

LaLiga issued a response later on Wednesday in which it said the trip could "in no way be classed as illegal", and explained the choice of location was to help clubs grow internationally.

"With stops in Dubai and Doha, it is an opportunity to learn more about the region as well as to attend a World Cup game and an event that takes place in Dubai next week where various people from the footballing world are in attendance," the statement added.

"No club is obliged to travel to Dubai to participate in the assembly, since remote participation systems are in place, and they have been informed as such from the beginning."

Lionel Messi is destined to return to Barcelona one day as the player and club "deserve one last dance together", according to the Catalan giants' sporting director Jordi Cruyff.

Paris Saint-Germain star Messi's 21-year association with Barca came to an end in August 2021 as the club could not afford a new deal under LaLiga's financial fair play rules.

Messi is now into his second season with PSG, but he is out of contract at the end of the campaign and has been linked with a move to Major League Soccer side Inter Miami.

The seven-time Ballon d'Or winner turns 36 next year and Cruyff hopes to see him back at Camp Nou in the future, though accepts that it may not be in a playing capacity.

"It's clear Barcelona and Messi have to be together again one day," Cruyff told RAC1. "It may be after his career, but they deserve a final hug, one last dance together."

Messi scored 672 goals across 778 appearances for Barcelona and provided a further 265 assists, amounting to 937 goal involvements across that trophy-laden spell.

 

He featured more times (219) and scored more goals (211) under Pep Guardiola than any other head coach, with the Catalan winning 14 trophies in four seasons at the helm.

Guardiola has since spent three seasons with Bayern Munich and is into his seventh season with Manchester City, where he remains under contract until July 2025.

Speaking this week, Guardiola said he would return to Barcelona one day if the club needed him, adding that "nothing is comparable" to managing a club so close to your heart.

Asked about the possibility of Guardiola managing the Blaugrana again further down the line, Cruyff said: "He's reached the level of being able to choose his own destiny.

"Not many have reached that point; it's the dream of every professional. Whether he returns or not, I have no idea. I think he's happy at City."

Barcelona will ask Sergio Busquets to provide clarity on his future plans when he returns from the World Cup, Jordi Cruyff has revealed.

Midfield stalwart Busquets is due to reach the end of his Barcelona contract at the end of this season, and he has been linked with a move to Inter Miami.

After 15 seasons at Camp Nou, Busquets could elect to finish his career in Major League Soccer with the team part-owned by David Beckham.

His long-standing team-mate Gerard Pique recently retired in mid-season, surprising Barcelona, and the club want to be sure they are aware of Busquets' next intentions.

Cruyff said in an interview with TV3: "When the World Cup is over, we will talk to him. He's earned every right to decide his future, but the club also needs to plan its squad."

The 34-year-old Busquets remains a key figure for Barcelona and Spain, and for his club, only four team-mates have played more minutes than him so far this season (1,201).

He has played close to 700 first-team games for Barcelona since making his debut in 2008.

Cruyff also spoke about Barcelona's transfer plans for the January window and said it was "clear that there are some positions that we can reinforce."

Spending limits may remain a factor; however, if Barcelona get the go-ahead to make a move, Cruyff said they would not hang about.

"If there is an option to sign, we know what we have to do," he said.

Memphis Depay, who has featured for the Netherlands at the World Cup, has played just 131 minutes for Barcelona this season.

He may be expendable and with his contract due to expire at the season's end, this may be a last chance to receive a transfer fee for the Dutch forward.

Cruyff told the Spanish broadcaster: "We are going to see what happens.

"In the summer, he was able to leave but in the end, his departure could not materialise. With [Robert] Lewandowski being suspended for three games, we will see what happens because if there were any injuries, he could be needed."

Lionel Messi has been linked with a blockbuster move to MLS club Inter Miami.

The Times report that the US franchise, co-owned by David Beckham, are ready to make Messi the highest-paid player in MLS history.

Messi is out of contract at Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season and has also been linked with a move to his former club Barcelona.

 

TOP STORY - MESSI AND BUSQUETS COULD BE BOUND FOR MIAMI

Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets is set to join ex-team-mate Lionel Messi at MLS club Inter Miami, according to Cope.

The 34-year-old Spain captain is out of contract at the end of this season and has been weighing up his future at Camp Nou.

Messi and Busquets spent more than a decade together at the Blaugrana and could re-unite in Florida, where the Argentina great regularly vacations at a house he owns.

ROUND-UP

- ESPN reports Manchester United are exploring a January loan move for Chelsea's Christian Pulisic. Newcastle United and Arsenal have also been linked with the United States international by the Mail.

- Chelsea have been keeping a close watch on Bayer Leverkusen's Ecuadora centre-back Piero Hincapie during the World Cup, reports the Mirror.

- Fichajes claims that Real Madrid's German midfielder Toni Kroos has rejected the chance to move to Manchester City.

- Newcastle will move for 18-year-old Vasco da Gama midfielder Andrey Santos in January, according to the Northern Echo.

- Milan are eager to discuss lowering the €22m purchase option fee for on-loan midfielder Brahim Diaz with parent club Real Madrid, reports La Gazzetta dello Sport. The Spaniard's two-year loan deal is due to expire at the end of the season.

Cristiano Ronaldo became a free agent earlier this week after mutually agreeing with Manchester United to terminate his contract.

Ronaldo's availability has prompted numerous clubs to weigh up moves for the five-time Ballon d'Or winner.

Brazilian giants Flamengo and Saudi Arabian powerhouse Al Hilal have been linked with Ronaldo in recent days.

AL NASSR OFFER LUCRATIVE DEAL TO FREE AGENT RONALDO

CBS claims Saudi Arabian club Al Nassr have offered Cristiano Ronaldo a three-year deal worth £186m.

The deal would see Ronaldo play into his 40s, with Al Nassr having resumed talks with his representatives having initiated them in the close season.

An unnamed Saudi Arabian club reportedly made an offer for the 37-year-old Portuguese prior to the start of this campaign.

Al Nassr are nine-time Saudi Arabian champions and ex-Lyon and Roma boss Rudi Garcia is their head coach.

ROUND-UP

Cody Gakpo and Milan's Rafael Leao are top of Erik ten Hag's wish list to replace Ronaldo at Manchester United in January, claims ESPN.

- Arsenal are set to beat Newcastle United to sign Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Mykhailo Mudryk for approximately £40 million, reports The Mirror.

- Bayern Munich are the latest club to enter the race to sign West Ham's England international Declan Rice, according to El Nacional.

- Juventus are planning a move for Athletic Bilbao winger Nico Williams, reports AS. Williams is contracted with Athletic until 2024.

- Milan are keen on Salzburg forward Noah Okafor, with the Austrian club asking €35m for him, according to Calciomercato.

Barcelona head coach Xavi wants to sign Brazilian teenager Endrick, revealing he has held talks with the player and his father.

The 16-year-old Palmeiras forward is widely considered to be one of the finest prospects in South American football, drawing the attention of some of Europe's biggest sides.

Endrick's father will reportedly travel to Spain to tour Real Madrid's facilities later this month, but a fight is expected for his services, with Barcelona's own interest now being confirmed.

"We've been talking to his father and also directly to the player. I explained the project we have in Barcelona," Xavi told ESPN.

"We want talent and he's a talent, able to make a difference. He can score goals, he can dribble, he's got a brutal ability to make a difference.

"He's the kind of player we need. He already knows the project we have in Barcelona and we are talking.

"I hope he becomes our player. It's up to him. It always depends on the player. Usually, a player will end up playing where he wants to play. So, it's a very personal decision of Endrick."

While Endrick's future lies away from South America, any club looking to sign him will not be able to move him to Europe until he is 18 due to FIFA regulations.

Cristiano Ronaldo's departure from Manchester United this week has put plenty of clubs on alert.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner is a wanted commodity, given his quality and sudden availability.

Ronaldo and United parted ways with a mutual termination of his contract after his explosive interview with TalkTV.

 

TOP STORY – SAUDI AND BRAZILIAN GIANTS TO MOVE FOR RONALDO

Saudi Arabian club Al Hilal and Brazilian giants Flamengo are among the clubs queuing to sign free agent Cristiano Ronaldo according to reports.

Sky Sports claims that Al Hilal are exploring a deal with the Portuguese, who had declined a £305m bid from an unnamed Saudi Arabian club in the off-season.

Brazilian outlet Veja reports that the 2022 Copa Libertadores winners intend to formalize a proposal to Ronaldo's representatives, although an offer has not yet been made, nor have talks commenced.

 

ROUND-UP 

- Football Insider reports that Chelsea are set to open talks with Brighton and Hove Albion's Belgian forward Leandro Trossard with his contract to expire at the end of season. New Blues boss Graham Potter knows Trossard well from his time at Brighton.

- Chelsea are ready to swoop for Manchester United target Diogo Costa, having made contact with him, according to Relevo. The goalkeeper recently re-signed with Porto and has a €75 million (£64.5m) release clause in his contract.

- Amid talk that Chelsea will try to sell Romelu Lukaku at the end of this season, SkySport claims Inter will extend the Belgian forward's loan for another year.

- Torino's Ivorian defender Wilfried Singo could snub interest from Juventus to remain with his current club, reports Calciomercato.

- Fabrizio Romano claims that Scottish champions Celtic are in talks with Canada international Alistair Johnston, with personal terms already being discussed. The right-back is currently with MLS club Montreal.

- QPR are anticipating the departure of manager Michael Beale to take over Rangers, claims Talk Sport. The Gers sacked Giovanni van Bronckhorst earlier this week.

Manchester United will look to sign a replacement forward for Cristiano Ronaldo during the January transfer window, according to the Manchester Evening News.

The 37-year-old Portuguese's exit by mutual consent with immediate effect has opened up all sorts of possibilities for the Red Devils.

But Erik ten Hag's side clearly need to bolster their ranks as they look to finish in the Premier League's top four this term.

 

TOP STORY – MEMPHIS WALKING BACK THROUGH THE DOORS AT OLD TRAFFORD?

Spanish media outlet Sport claims that Manchester United are keen on Barcelona's Memphis Depay in January.

The Blaugrana, who have been linked with United's Diogo Dalot, are eager to offload the Dutchman, whose contract ends in mid-2023.

The Netherlands international spent two years at Old Trafford from 2015 and 2017

 

ROUND-UP -

- Tottenham, Chelsea and Arsenal are ready to make moves for Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot, according to Calciomercato. The Frenchman almost joined Manchester United in the off-season and is contracted with the Bianconeri until the end of the season.

- Football Insider claims Aston Villa are interested in Sevilla's Morocco international goalkeeper Yassine Bounou, who is contracted until 2025.

- Fabrizio Romano claims RB Leipzig's Konrad Laimer is determined to join Bayern Munich, meaning Chelsea and Liverpool will miss out on the Austrian.

- Leeds United have enquired about the availability of Milan's Belgian midfielder Charles de Ketelaere, reports TeamTalk.

- Atalanta are in talks with Stuttgart's Croatia international left-back Borna Sosa, claims Nicolo Schira.

Jordi Alba is determined to stay at Barcelona until his contract expires in 2024 and hopes he could still be reunited with Lionel Messi at Camp Nou.

Spain left-back Alba has his focus on World Cup duties for the coming weeks, believing La Roja are well-placed to challenge in Qatar, with a first game against Costa Rica coming up on Wednesday.

At the end of the last transfer window, Alba was linked with a shock move to Italian giants Inter, but he said in an interview with Cadena Ser that "nobody told me anything" about that prospect.

"My intention is to stay until the end of my contract because I think I can help; when I don't, I'll be the first to go," said the 33-year-old, a five-time LaLiga winner with Barcelona.

"I've improved and people who know realise it. Many things were heard about my decision at the club, but I decided to stay. Nobody told me anything about Inter."

Alba said he helped out financially stricken Barcelona with his contract after last year's European Championship, at a time when the club were looking to cut costs.

"Whenever they asked me for help from the club, I gave it. Nobody can say otherwise," he said. "Whenever the club has asked me for anything, and whatever it is, I have helped. I am from Barcelona and I feel the colours."

He saw Messi, Barcelona's record scorer and greatest player, leave to join Paris Saint-Germain after a contract offer was withdrawn, with the Catalans unable to afford to keep him.

Almost 18 months later, Messi continues to be linked with a switch back to Barcelona.

"Of course I would like Leo Messi to return to Barca," said Alba, in a separate interview with Cope. "He is the player with whom I have had the best understanding on a field and for the club it was a great loss."

Such is the intense focus on Barcelona and Real Madrid, the Spain national team can feel like a poor relation at times. However, the success they enjoyed from 2008 to 2012, winning two European Championships and the World Cup, meant the group united the country, and Alba feels they could also have an outstanding 2022 World Cup.

He said of the team's coach, a former Barcelona boss who played for both Clasico rivals: "Luis Enrique has done very well.

"We hadn't met our expectations for a while and the European Championship [where Spain reached the semi-finals] was very good.

"People got hooked again and I think they will do it again with the World Cup. I hope and want to go far in this World Cup."

Marco Asensio wants to stay at Real Madrid for "10 more years" as the Spain international continues to negotiate a new contract with the club.

Asensio, who is on duty with La Roja at the World Cup, is set to become a free agent when his existing deal with Los Blancos expires at the end of June.

Repeatedly linked with a move away from the Santiago Bernabeu, with Barcelona reported to be among his possible destinations, the forward has started just once in LaLiga for Madrid this season.

Nevertheless, the 26-year-old hopes he can prolong his stay with the reigning Champions League winners, for whom he has made 250 appearances since arriving from Mallorca in December 2014.

"There is talk that I am changing Real Madrid's mind. But I have always tried to give the maximum that I have inside, and then it will be known," he told Radio Marca.

"The one that decides, too, is the club, it not only depends on me. After the World Cup, we will both make a decision.

"What if I want to renew? Hopefully, it can happen, and I will be very happy at Real Madrid for many years. Hopefully, everything will be given to stay 10 more years."

Asensio also offered his commiserations to team-mate Karim Benzema, who was ruled out of the World Cup after failing to recover from a quadriceps problem in his left thigh.

The France international became the first reigning Ballon d'Or winner to miss the finals since Allan Simonsen's Denmark failed to qualify for the 1978 tournament.

"I send him all my encouragement and support from here," Asensio added. "These are things that happen in football, and it has weighed on him not being able to reach 100 per cent. He was very excited about this World Cup."

Page 1 of 193
© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.