Liverpool will reportedly demand for Marco Asensio to be included as part of any deal that would see Real Madrid sign star attacker Sadio Mane.
According to a report from Spanish publication Sport, Real Madrid’s pursuit of Liverpool forward Sadio Mane is set for a twist as the Reds are going to demand Spanish international Marco Asensio as part of the transfer.
Having lost Cristiano Ronaldo last summer to Juventus, Real Madrid have struggled in the final third without the Portuguese maverick and are keen on adding a new marquee attacker to the ranks. To that end, Los Blancos have identified Mane as a key transfer target heading into the summer transfer window, given the form that the Senegalese speedster has been in recently.
Mane is enjoying a prolific 2018-19 campaign in which he has scored 20 goals and assisted four more from 38 matches in all competitions. The 26-year-old has netted nine times in his last nine Premier League outings, helping Liverpool’s push for the league title.
Zinedine Zidane, who was brought back as the manager of Real Madrid earlier this month, has specifically requested the club to sign the 26-year-old Mane from Liverpool. However, the Merengues’ pursuit of the former Southampton star could come at a significant cost as Liverpool are demanding for Marco Asensio to be included as part of any deal.
The 23-year-old Asensio has established himself as one of the most coveted young players across Europe since joining Real Madrid from Real Mallorca back in 2015. The Spaniard was an integral part of Zidane’s Champions League winning teams in the last couple of seasons, although his form has dwindled somewhat in the ongoing term.
So far in 2018-19, Asensio has come up with returns of just 6 goals and 5 assists from 36 matches, having lost his place in the starting XI to Vinicius Junior under former manager Santiago Solari.
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp is a huge admirer of Asensio and had even made an attempt to sign the Spanish international from Real Madrid last summer, the report from Sport claims. Having failed to land him back then, the German tactician is set to launch another approach for the 23-year-old by demanding Madrid include him in any deal for Mane.
Mane is a pivotal player for Liverpool and will have a huge role to play between now and the end of the season, if the Reds are to end their trophy drought and go on to win the Premier League. Given how important the 26-year-old is to Klopp’s plans, a summer sale would be extremely unlikely, unless Real Madrid stump up a humongous transfer fee.
However, the inclusion of Asensio as part of the transfer could change Liverpool’s stance. The 23-year-old is viewed as a vital cog in the scheme of things under Zidane and the manager might be reluctant to lose him. It will be interesting to see how this story unfolds over the coming months.