The likelihood of Real Madrid facing an embargo over alleged irregularities in signing minors is having a knock-on effect on youngsters like Marco Asensio, who is proving he has what it takes to be a big player for Los Blancos.
To loan him or not to loan – that is the question facing Real due to possible FIFA sanctions on the horizon.
The club deny any wrong-going and are appealing against a ban that would not only stop them from making transfers but would require them to be very cautious about the movement of players already in situ.
According to FIFA rules, Real would not be able to bring back players with the embargo in force, which would affect the next two transfer markets in January and the summer of 2017.
Primarily this affects the youth squad and Real Madrid Castilla, although the club has told MARCA it is not worried about players such as Martin Odegaard or Marcos Llorente completing their training and improving as elite footballers away from home for that length of time.
However, it does affect Asensio, who is seen as a potential first-team star and as such would only be loaned out for one season before returning.
It may be that he has to stay to avoid falling foul of FIFA’s rules if Real don’t win their appeal, because should the sanction could come into place as quickly as the end of August, if the Mallorcan was already out on loan by then, Zidane will have lost the player for two full seasons.
If he stays, he may not get many minutes in match competitions, something his coach has already hinted.
Despite his great form in the 3-2 win over Chelsea in the International Champions Cup, it will be difficult for the playmaker to find a place in the starting line-up, even though the coach loves his style.
“In any case, a lot can happen between now and August 31,” he added.
Now Real are going to wait until after the UEFA Super Cup and the Trofeo Santiago Bernabeu to see if they want to sign another galactico or not.
August 31 is no longer the only date concerning transfers on their calendar – the other is for FIFA to decide.
Conscious of the possible scenario of a sanction, they have been working for some time to bring in young players.
Sergio Diaz was the last to arrive for the B team and Asensio, who was brought in two season ago, has already extended his contract until 2022.