Liverpool ‘make contact with Real Madrid’ as Jurgen Klopp tests Carlo Ancelotti’s resolve

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Liverpool have reportedly made contact with the entourage of Real Madrid star Marco Asensio over the prospect of a summer transfer. That is according to Spanish outlet AS, who claim the Spain international has been identified as a potential signing with the imminent departure of Sadio Mane.

Liverpool came close to an unprecedented quadruple last season, falling short by just a single point in the Premier League and suffering defeat in the Champions League final to Real. Jurgen Klopp’s side lifted the FA Cup and Carabao Cup, and have wasted no time in strengthening this summer.

Fulham wonderkid Fabio Carvalho was the first through the door, and was followed by a potentially club-record deal for Benfica forward Darwin Nunez. The Uruguay international was in demand this summer following a 34-goal season, including two strikes in the Champions League quarter-final clash against Liverpool.

Capable of operating through the middle and on the left flank, Nunez is seen by many as an ideal replacement for Mane. The versatile forward informed the Reds of his decision to seek a new challenge following the Champions League final defeat in Paris.

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Mane is set to enter the final year of his contract at Anfield, paving the way for the 30-year-old to secure a cut-price exit. Bayern Munich were reportedly rebuffed in their initial approaches for the Senegal international, but an agreement on a deal worth up to £35 million is now said to have been reached.

Mane’s exit will undoubtedly be a blow for Klopp’s side, given the impact of the former Southampton star over the last six seasons. The deal also marks the end of an era with the Reds’ famous front three, with Roberto Firmino and Mohamed Salah also facing uncertain futures on Merseyside.

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Klopp still looks to have plenty of firepower in his squad on paper despite the sale of Mane, but AS report the club has made contact with Asensio’s representatives. The Real Madrid attacker has struggled for consistent game-time in recent seasons, and is due to enter the final year of his deal.

Reports suggest Asensio is open to the prospect of leaving the La Liga champions following eight seasons in the Spanish capital. Gareth Bale, Isco and Marcelo have already left Real this summer as free agents, with exits for Eden Hazard and Luka Jovic also on the cards.

Should Liverpool follow up this initial interest in Asensio, Liverpool will likely face fierce competition for his signature. AS claims AC Milan have also made contact, while reports elsewhere have also credited Arsenal and Manchester United with an interest.

Speaking to Diario AS on his future, Asensio said: “I have one more year in my contract yet here we are talking about me leaving Real Madrid. This is an important moment for me, I will not deny it. I am more mature and not only on the field, this is an important moment and I will have to make important decisions.

“Me and my family know that I have to keep growing and moving forward. I want to achieve important things in football and they help me do that.”

 

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