A promising defender linked to West Ham and Leeds earlier this year has been named as one of the three Real Madrid players arrested over a sex tape involving an underage teenage girl.
Spanish police have not yet named any of the detainees and are unlikely to do so for legal reasons.
But a newspaper in Gran Canaria where the act took place that led to a video allegedly being passed around WhatsApp without the girl’s consent is among those naming one of the footballers as Raul Asencio.
The Gran Canaria-born 20-year-old, currently playing for Real Madrid’s reserve team Castilla, got his first Spain under-19 call-up last year when he was described as the team’s ‘new wonderkid.’
A Sunday People report in April said West Ham had spoken with Asencio’s representatives about a summer deal.
Raul Asencio has been named by a newspaper in Gran Canaria as one of the three Real Madrid players arrested
Three Real Madrid players have been arrested over a sex tape involving an underage girl
It also claimed Leeds were in ‘hot pursuit’ of the defender and Real were ready to consider ‘either a permanent switch or a sale with a buyback option.’
At the time he was playing for Real Madrid’s third team in the fifth tier of La Liga.
His identification by some Spanish media coincided with other reports claiming the arrested footballers were among a group of four men and three women who partied together at a VIP chill-out area at Amadores Beach Club in the Gran Canaria holiday resort of Puerto Rico in the municipality of Mogan in June when the sex tape is said to have been recorded.
The footballer identified locally as Raul Asencio is said to have gone to the pool area with one of the women while the two others remained in the VIP chill-out area with the three other Real Madrid players ‘to have consensual sex.’
Island newspaper La Provincia, which unlike rival paper Canarias 7 didn’t name Asencio but did offer a blow-by-account of the incident which has led to the arrests, said: ‘Later the two women who had stayed behind in the chill-out area went to the pool where the Gran Canaria-born player was with the other girl.
‘At that moment one of the women said she suspected one of the players had used his mobile phone to record the sexual intercourse.
‘The players involved admitted filming but promised to erase the content.
‘Two months after that day at Amadores two of the girls, one of whom is underage, discovered the video filmed in June was being shared among WhatsApp groups.
‘It’s then that the mother of the minor decided to report it.’
The video was shared around on WhatsApp and the mother of the girl decided to report it
The same report, quoting ‘well-placed sources’, said the ‘Gran Canaria-born player’ which Canarias 7 and other Spanish media have identified as Asencio, simply received the video and ‘immediately erased it from his mobile phone.’
Spanish police confirmed late yesterday they had arrested a Real Madrid Castilla player and two Real Madrid C players after reports of the detentions broke.
The fourth man questioned by police, another player for Real Madrid C which is Real Madrid’s second reserve team, has not been formally arrested.
None of the four have appeared yet before an investigating judge at a court in the municipality of San Bartolome de Tirajana which is leading the ongoing probe.
They are expected to receive a court summons once the judge receives the police report.
The arrests took place on Thursday at Real Madrid’s Valdebebas training ground in the Spanish capital.
None of the players are in custody.
Spanish media outlet El Confidencial, the first to break the news of the arrests, has reported without yet providing any proof to back up its claims: ‘Police sources say there could be several other players involved, including Real Madrid first team players.’
However it is understood police are investigating whether other people are involved and officers haven’t ruled out further arrests.
A spokesman for the Civil Guard in Gran Canaria said late on Thursday: ‘A mother accompanied by her daughter under the age of 16 has reported to police in Santa Maria de Guía in Las Palmas province in Gran Canaria that there are supposedly some recordings of her daughter’s consensual sexual relations, which were recorded without her consent and which she now knows are being circulated.
‘The events that occurred in the municipality of Mogan date back to mid-June but she said she has now learned these images exist.’
The force added: ‘For this reason, Court 3 in San Bartolome de Tirajana has ordered the Civil Guard to make several people available to the court.’
Police arrested the players at Madrid’s Valdedebas training ground, and a spokesman confirmed that none of the detainees were from the first team
Confirming none of the detainees were from Real Madrid’s first team, the spokesman said: ‘Their mobiles have been seized and they have been freed for the time being.
‘The arrests occurred this morning. One of the detainees is a Real Madrid Castilla player and the other two are Real Madrid C players.
‘Another player from Real Madrid C is being investigated.’
Real Madrid Castilla Football Club is currently managed by club legend Raul.
Court sources in Gran Canaria denied some reports in Spain the men had already appeared in court and been granted bail following an appearance before a judge.
The well-placed judicial insiders said a police report was expected to be sent to a judge on Friday who would then decide when to summon them for questioning under oath.
Real Madrid said in a statement on Thursday night: ‘Real Madrid wishes to announce that it has learned that a Castilla player and three Real Madrid C players have made statements to the Civil Guard in relation to a complaint about the alleged broadcasting of a private video via WhatsApp.
‘When the club has detailed knowledge of the facts, we will take the appropriate measures.’
The age of consent in Spain was raised from 13 to 16 in 2015, meaning teenagers of that age can have sex but cannot drive cars on Spanish roads or vote.