Arsenal poised to trigger Real Madrid star's buyout clause, report claims
Can Arsenal really pull of a move for Real Madrid's Marco Asensio?
Almost certainly not, no.
Despite this, the rumour continues to be doing the rounds, days on from it first surfacing in the transfer gossip columns.
For those not already aware, Asensio is the currently one of the hottest prospects in world football. Still just 21 years of age, his performances for the European Champions have caught the attention of many. Having tucked away the final goal of last season's Champions League final in Cardiff, Asensio started the new season by scoring in both legs of this month's Spanish Super Cup final with Barcelona. The second of those goals, coming after just four minutes at the Bernabeu, was particularly memorable (even more so with Alan Partridge commentary).
Understandably, Real aren't too keen on the idea of Asensio leaving the club and are believed to be preparing a bumper new contract to keep him in the Spanish capital for years to come. However, just as was the case with Barcelona and Neymar a few weeks ago, a buyout clause in his current deal means Los Blancos could be powerless to prevent his departure.
As reported by The Express, the Spanish international has a £75m release clause in his current deal at the Bernabeu - a fee Arsenal are said to be prepared to stump up to bring him to England.
The idea of him leaving a team widely regarded as being the best on the planet in favour of a move to Arsenal, a club that won't be in the Champions League for the first time in over two decades this season, seems a little far-fetched. However, with Asensio still not guaranteed a starting berth for Real and eager to secure more minutes, the report suggests he could be tempted to make a move.
If such a clause does exist in Asensio's current deal, Arsenal will almost certainly have competition for his signature in the days ahead.