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Asensio as false nine at Real Madrid an option for Lopetegui

12:12 EAT 05/08/2018
MarcoAsensio - cropped
With Cristiano Ronaldo gone and no reinforcements signed, Julen Lopetegui could use Marco Asensio through the middle at Real Madrid.

Marco Asensio’s role as a false nine could become a regular feature for Real Madrid going forward under Julen Lopetegui, the coach acknowledged after his side’s 3-1 victory over Juventus.

Spain international Asensio came on at half-time in Real’s International Champions Cup meeting with the Serie A champions at FedEx Field and spearheaded the attack, netting a quickfire brace to help his side to a 3-1 victory.

With Los Blancos yet to find another central striker to fill the gap left by Cristiano Ronaldo, who left Madrid for Juve earlier in the transfer window, and with deals for Neymar and Robert Lewandowski looking increasingly unlikely, Lopetegui would be willing to use the 22-year-old in a new position this season.

"It's an option. Pre-season is a time when we can test different things and what we need to do is look for resources or different ideas within the team," said the 51-year-old following his team’s win.

"It was good to see him play at that position and he played extremely well. It's not important where he plays but how he plays."

Left-back Reguillon came off the bench against Manchester United last time out but played the full 90 minutes versus Juve as Real picked up their first win of the ICC.

Asked whether the 21-year-old Castilla defender could become a regular first-team player, Lopetegui added: "He's a young player with extremely strong abilities.

"He has a lot of heart, effort and determination and I think he's working phenomenally with the club and ultimately it's a decision I'll have to take in the future."

A new goalkeeper is thought to be high on the list of Madrid's priorities ahead of the new LaLiga campaign, with Chelsea's Thibaut Courtois said to be their top target.

However, Lopetegui was unwilling to comment on potentially increasing the competition for the number one position.

"The day that a goalkeeper will potentially arrive I'll make a comment, but right now I want to talk about the great match that Keylor [Navas] had and also [Andriy] Lunin made his debut," he said.

"We obviously also have Kiko [Casilla] and Luca [Zidane], so I prefer to talk about the goalkeepers we have. If the day comes that there's another one, I'll answer you then."