Football transfer rumours: Liverpool battling Juventus for Marco Asensio?

The confetti has barely been cleared off the Bernabéu pitch after Ajax emphatically ended Real Madrid’s Big Cup golden age, but attention is already turning to the inevitable summer clearout. Gareth Bale is being marched towards the Premier League by his Mr 15%, and word is that Marco Asensio, one of the few Real players who hasn’t been completely terrible this season, could join him.

Juventus are predictably keen, but Liverpool are also in the running, which should brighten Jürgen Klopp’s mood considerably. Klopp may not stop there – he also fancies reuniting with centre-back Matthias Ginter. His former defensive charge at Dortmund is currently at Mönchengladbach, and could cost more than £30m – a small price to pay given he can cover at centre-back, right-back and defensive midfield. Heading in (roughly) the other direction could be striker Taiwo Awoniyi, wanted by Schalke.

Back to Real, who could land Inter’s Mauro Icardi in the kind of modern transfer saga that makes The Mill want to draw the curtains and rock slowly back and forth in front of The Big Match: Revisited. Icardi has – the humanity – been left out of promotional pictures celebrating a new electronics deal struck by their owners. Wanda Nara, Icardi’s wife and agent, has also followed Real on Instagram – make of that what you will.

It doesn’t stop there. Real Madrid are also prepared to throw absurd amounts of cash at Benfica to sign their two young talents, João Félix and Luka Jovic. Félix, a teenage playmaker who has crashed the first team this season, is also interesting Juve despite an unwieldy, plucking-numbers-from-thin-air €120m price tag. Serbian striker Jovic is currently on loan at Frankfurt, who could sign him on the cheap and start a bidding war between Real, Barcelona and, um, Arsenal.

Sticking with the Gunners, and Marc Overmars will have fans all aglow with claims that if he were to leave Ajax, and become a technical director elsewhere, he would probably take defender Matthijs de Ligt with him. Perhaps more realistic are claims that Monchi will arrive from Roma with Turkish winger Cengiz Under in tow. In even more sobering news for Arsenal, Serge Gnabry – let go for just £5m – has signed a bumper new Bayern Munich contract.

Brendan Rodgers may have traded “immortality for mediocrity” according to that banner, but the new Leicester manager isn’t finished wheeling and dealing yet. He’s preparing to sneak back over the border for Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos, who is apparently worth £20m. Then again, the Foxes are reportedly quoting Manchester City £75m-plus for Ben Chilwell, so who knows any more. City are also keeping an eye on Roma hot-shot Nicolò Zanolio.

Rodgers could replace Chilwell with Kieran Tierney, and also fancies bringing Dedryck Boyata and Callum McGregor back from his midnight run to Glasgow. Leicester may need the extra manpower, with Rodgers expecting, if not inviting interest from Manchester United for Harry Maguire, and Tottenham for playmaker James Maddison.

Not satisfied with one attacking reinforcement, Spurs may bring in two – has Daniel Levy completely lost the run of himself? The unfamiliar name in the frame is Robert Skov, a Danish winger who has scored 24 goals for Copenhagen this season. Elsewhere in London, Crystal Palace want to rescue Jack Butland from second-tier Stoke, and Brentford defender Yoann Barbet is set to join Aston Villa this summer.


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