Carlo Ancelotti says it is up to him to find a way to manage Marco Asensio after the Real Madrid star expressed his anger at a lack of playing time.
The Spanish international has been restricted to just 17 minutes on the pitch so far this season, but he looked set for a run-out from the bench in the 4-1 win over Mallorca.
However, despite instructing Asensio to warm-up, Ancelotti turned to Dani Carvajal, Nacho, Luka Modric and Eduardo Camavinga instead. That provoked an expression of frustration from Asensio, who tossed his training bib to the ground, kicked a cooler box and threw his water bottle away in anger.
“The reality is that I wanted to make the two changes,” Ancelotti explained after the game. “We were preparing, if we didn’t make it 2-1, to put Mariano and Asensio in. Lucas [Vazquez] was injured and we only had one window, and I didn’t think about making that change.”
“He’s angry and I agree with him,” he said of Asensio. “It’s normal, it means he wants to play, to feel important. In this period, he has been the player most affected in the squad and I take that into account. I’m totally in agreement with his anger. It’s fine.”
It comes at a time when Asensio is said to be unhappy in general at Real Madrid. Reports suggested a number of teams across Europe were interested in the 26-year-old, and Ancelotti even confirmed that he was exploring a possible exit from the club during the summer.
“Marco is looking at things to see if he can leave,” Ancelotti revealed at the time before thinning his midfield options by selling Casemiro to Manchester United in a £70m deal.
Ancelotti has always insisted that Asensio has a place at Real but has also vowed not to stand in his way if he chooses to look for a departure before his contract expires next summer.