Aston Villa are reportedly interested in signing Real Madrid attacker Marco Asensio on a free transfer this summer. The 27-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season and has not yet agreed to a new deal with the Spanish giants.
Asensio has been a regular for Real Madrid this season, scoring eight goals and providing six assists in 27 La Liga appearances. However, he has faced competition for his place from Rodrygo Goes and Federico Valverde, and has only started 15 games in La Liga and the Champions League combined.
According to The Athletic, Aston Villa manager Unai Emery is keen on bolstering his attacking line and sees Asensio as a player who can significantly improve the team. The incoming Mateu Alemany, who leaves his job as director of football at Barcelona on July 1, is also on board with the pursuit, as first reported by the Spanish publication Marca.
Aston Villa have a strong relationship with Asensio’s agent Jorge Mendes through Emery and co-owner Nassef Sawiris, and are prepared to offer him a lucrative salary to lure him to Villa Park. The club are also looking for value for money in the transfer market after picking up Boubacar Kamara on a free signing from Marseille last summer.
However, Aston Villa are not the only club interested in Asensio, who has made 281 appearances for Real Madrid since joining them in 2014. Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea have previously been linked with the Spain international, while several Italian clubs are also monitoring his situation.
Asensio’s preference is to stay at Real Madrid, where he has won four Champions League titles and two La Liga titles among other trophies. However, he admitted after the Copa del Rey final against Osasuna on Saturday that he ‘did not know’ whether he would be signing a new contract at Bernabeu.
Real Madrid head coach Carlo Ancelotti has expressed his desire to keep hold of Asensio, who came off the bench for the final nine minutes of the 1-1 draw with Manchester City in the Champions League semi-final first leg on Tuesday.
Aston Villa are currently pushing for a European spot for next season, sitting eighth in the Premier League table, one point behind seventh-placed Brighton & Hove Albion and three behind Tottenham Hotspur in sixth. They will be hoping to bounce back from successive defeats to Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers when they host Tottenham on Saturday.