Real Madrid Reportedly Agree Terms with Celta Vigo Star Iago AspasAugust 24, 2018
Real Madrid have reportedly agreed terms with Celta Vigo attacker Iago Aspas as they seek to fill the void left by Cristiano Ronaldo's departure to Juventus earlier this summer.
El Chiringuito reported Valencia forward Rodrigo Moreno remains Real's primary target but that Aspas is an option even though Real have yet to reach an agreement with Celta for his sale (h/t MailOnline's Max Winters).
Aspas would be a far more cost-effective alternative for Los Blancos considering Valencia are reportedly insisting Rodrigo's €120 million (£107 million) buyout clause is met in order for him to leave.
The 31-year-old has recovered well after a rocky year at Liverpool and has scored 20 goals in consecutive seasons for the first time in his career, having finished last term with 23 goals in 37 appearances.
Few would have thought that there would be a chance for the Galicia native to leave this late in the transfer window. La Liga writer Simon Harrison recently praised Aspas for resurrecting his career at Celta:
Real sold Ronaldo to Juventus for £100 million earlier this summer, but Vinicius Junior, 18, is the only replacement to have arrived as the August 31 transfer deadline approaches.
Adrian Garcia of ESPN FC wrote in May that Aspas has a €40 million (£36 million) buyout clause.
Celta Vigo boss Antonio Mohamed told Cadena Ser in late July that Aspas would not be leaving the Abanca-Balaidos this summer (h/t Football Espana), although the situation has changed a lot since then: "I have spoken with Aspas. He's going to show us the way and be the leader of this project. He wants to stay at the club, and as for Maxi Gomez, he's staying for now too."
The veteran's departure would be a big blow for Celta, particularly this late in the transfer window, although Harrison suggested the club has made some moves to help cope with his absence:
Aspas scored 22 of Celta's 59 goals in La Liga last season and can play out wide or in a central attacking role.
He was one of the attackers then-Spain, now-Real manager Julen Lopetegui took to the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and it would seem he is a fan of the player despite his advanced years.
Some supporters at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu would be underwhelmed if the club were to sign the 31-year-old Aspas as a successor to 33-year-old Ronaldo, though president Florentino Perez could invest again at a later date.
That's provided they don't succeed in their pursuit of Rodrigo, with Real primed to cast their gaze over Spain's elite to find Ronaldo's replacement.