Amid speculation linking Liverpool with a raid on Real Madrid this summer, Guillem Balague has provided potentially key insight into the current situation.
The Reds are coming off the back of an impressive campaign under Jurgen Klopp, during which they secured a top-four finish in the Premier League while also making the Champions League final.
They’ll be desperate to kick on next year and move closer towards winning major honours, and according to Mundo Deportivo, they were planning on doing that with a reported €180m bid for Real Madrid’s Marco Asensio.
The 22-year-old has emerged as a key figure at the Bernabeu, scoring 11 goals and providing six assists in 53 appearances last season, although he struggled to establish himself as a regular in the starting line-up with fierce competition for places in the final third.
With that in mind, it would make sense that he could potentially seek an exit for a more prominent role, and as noted by the Metro, he hinted at that by revealing that he will hold talks with Real Madrid after the World Cup.
Provided Liverpool’s interest in the Spaniard is concrete, that would have alerted them to the possibility of prising him away from Madrid, but as noted in Balague’s tweet below, despite the report from Mundo Deportivo above, no bid has yet been made by the Merseyside giants for Asensio.
In fact, Balague goes as far to say that Real Madrid don’t want to sell the playmaker and that he doesn’t wish to leave, which arguably makes it pretty clear that an exit this summer seems fairly unlikely.
The link does make sense from a Liverpool perspective though, as with attacking trident Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah firing on all cylinders last season, they haven’t quite filled the void left behind by Philippe Coutinho after his January move to Barcelona.
In turn, Asensio could play through the middle to play that creative role, but on the basis of Balague’s information, it doesn’t look like happening.
On Asensio. Liverpool have not made an offer and have no intention on making one. Of course they see their huge potential but no indication Real want to sell (they don’t) or him wants to leave (he doesn’t) pic.twitter.com/UNcEwT6keY
— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) June 26, 2018