Marco Asensio has reportedly turned down the chance to join Atletico Madrid, even as his Real Madrid future hangs in the balance.

According to a report by Catalan outlet El Nacional, Marco Asensio has no intention of joining Atletico Madrid even as his future at Real Madrid remains highly uncertain. The Spanish forward would favour joining another club instead of a direct rival.

Marco Asensio has seen his stock plummet since returning from a long-term knee injury last year. Once regarded as a long-term solution in attack for Los Blancos, the 25-year-old has been rather disappointing with his inconsistent performances, which have rendered him a bit-part player in the first-team setup.

The same has been prevalent in the ongoing season, with Asensio managing just four goals and one assist in 17 appearances across all competitions. The record seems all the more paltry, considering three of his goals came in one game against RCD Mallorca. As a result, speculation around his future has been growing like wildfire, with Atletico Madrid reportedly being one of his prospective suitors.

The interest from Atletico Madrid is understandable, considering Antoine Griezmann’s permanent return to the Wanda Metropolitano is not set in stone. In addition, there are concerns over the form of Thomas Lemar and former Real Madrid ace Marcos Llorente, which could be prompting Diego Simeone to enter the market for an attacking reinforcement.

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As a result, the reigning La Liga champions have been linked with several attacking players of late, including Alberto Moleiro, Matias Arezo and Dominik Szoboszlai. And Asensio is also a viable target for Atletico Madrid, although Los Rojiblancos have been handed a major blow in pursuit of the Real Madrid forward.

Asensio has no interest in joining Real Madrid’s direct rivals and leave a sour taste in the mouth of his current club as a result. While it is likely that the Spaniard will depart the Santiago Bernabeu sooner or later, he would prefer joining a club that is not a direct rival for the Merengues.

Asensio has no shortage of suitors either, with Juventus, Arsenal and Newcastle United among his suitors. For now, though, what remains certain is that Asensio will not join Atletico Madrid if and when he leaves Real Madrid in an upcoming transfer window.

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