Liverpool are ready to break the bank and pay a staggering British record £158million for Real Madrid play-maker Marco Asensio – with Neymar at the centre of the shock saga.
That's according to reports in Spain which say Liverpool have contacted Madrid officials to open official dialogue after making a “firm offer” for the 22-year-old Spanish international.
That's not been dismissed out of hand by the Spanish giants – with sources saying they have still not given up hope of snatching Brazilian star Neymar from Paris St Germain.
A huge offer for Asensio would give Madrid the financial clout to go big for Neymar who they've identified as the global star to success Cristiano Ronaldo.
Asensio – currently at the World Cup in Russia – has been tipped to become THE player of his generation and a poster-boy star for Spanish football with the world at his feet.
But despite playing in 53 of Madrid's 62 matches last season many of Asensio's outings were off the bench.
One of those was against Liverpool in the Champions League Final 3-1 win over Jürgen Klopp's men in Kiev.
Asensio came on as an 89 minute replacement for Karim Benzema – the last of Zinedine Zidane's substitutions before the French coach left the club days later.
The youngster was known to be becoming frustrated at his lack of starts last season – a vibe it appears have Liverpool picked up on.
But they face huge hurdles to overcome if they're to land Asensio as replacement for Philippe Coutinho who left Anfield for Barcelona in January in £146 million deal.
One of those obstacles is the arrival of new boss Julen Lopetegui who replaces Zidane.
But perhaps the biggest is the mind-blowing €700million release clause Asensio has in his contract which runs out in 2023.
Sources in Spain, however, say that was set merely to protect Madrid in the transfer market if Asensio became a target.
This story has been reproduced from the media. It does not necessarily represent the position of Liverpool Football Club.