BARCELONA are sensationally willing to pay the £72million release clause of Real Madrid star Marco Asensio, according to reports.
Barcelona, fuelled by the £200m garnered from Neymar’s sale to Paris Saint-Germain, are on the lookout for a marquee name.
So far, their efforts to sign Liverpool playmaker Philippe Coutinho have been thwarted with the Reds unwilling to let him go.
And, with Borussia Dortmund demanding £100m for wing wizard Ousmane Dembele, Barcelona could have to turn their attentions elsewhere.
Asensio is one of Real Madrid’s brightest talents for the future but, with Cristiano R onaldo, Gareth Bale and Isco ahead of him in the pecking order, his chances of making Zinedine Zidane’s starting line-up appear slim.
And Spanish outlet Diario Gol claim the 21-year-old is now wanted by Barcelona as Neymar’s replacement.
It is said Ernesto Valverde’s side are willing to trigger his £72m release clause in an act that would leave Real sweating on the decision of the player.
Barcelona feel he is attainable because they can offer him regular game time – something their La Liga rivals are currently unwilling to do.
Speaking back in April – when he was linked with a move to England with Manchester United – Asensio outlined his desire to remain at Real.
“In the end I do not think about other teams or if I could play in other teams, I always think about Madrid,” Asensio said.
“I found it difficult at first, but you have to work in the training sessions and be prepared to take advantage of the opportunity when it comes.
“I already said that I wanted to stay and that I was going to fight for minutes.”
Diario Gol also add that Barcelona remain keen on Isco – whose Real contract expires next year.