Barcelona is sensationally willing to pay the £72million release clause of Real Madrid star Marco Asensio, according to reports

The Catalans side are on the hunt for new attacking options following the sale of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain, a world-record deal that has left them with around £200m to spend.

So far of their efforts to sign Philippe Coutinho have been thwarted with the Reds unwilling to let him go after Liverpool have rejected a second improved bid believed to be £90million from Barcelona.

However, German side Borussia Dortmund is demanding £100m for the French international Ousmane Dembele, Barcelona could have to turn their attentions elsewhere.

Asensio is one of Real Madrid’s brightest talents for the future but, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Isco ahead of him in the pecking order, his chances of making Zinedine Zidane’s starting lineup appear slim.

According to Spanish outlet, Diario Gol claims that the 21-year-old is now wanted by Barcelona as Neymar’s replacement. It is said Ernesto Valverde’s side are willing to trigger his £72m release clause in an act that would leave Real Madrid sweating on the decision of the player.

Asensio has been previously linked with moves to Manchester United Arsenal and Liverpool, though the player was quick to rebuff those rumors.

“In the end, I do not think about other teams or if I could play in other teams, I always think about Madrid,” Asensio said at the time.

“I found it difficult at first, but you have to work in the training sessions and be prepared to take advantage of the opportunity when it comes.

“I already said that I wanted to stay and that I was going to fight for minutes.”

Diario Gol also adds that Barcelona remains keen on Isco - whose Real contract expires next year.

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