Real Madrid starlet Marco Asensio has requested ’emergency talks’ with the club following interest from Arsenal.
The 21-year-old attacking midfielder is one of the hottest properties in Europe, but is desperately seeking clarification over his future at the Bernabeu.
According to Spanish news outlet Diario Gol, Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is willing to activate his £72million release clause over a move to the Emirates.
However, the former Espanyol star has no desire to leave Los Blancos, and is determined to pen a new deal to extend his stay.
He is hoping to use the interest in him as leverage over a new contract, where he wants to earn £5.5m-a-year.
The three-time capped Spanish international is still on a youth salary at Madrid, and is in line to earn seven times more than what he is currently on, to match the wages of Luka Modric, Isco and Toni Kroos.
Asensio believes he deserves a pay rise after starring in his first season under Zinedine Zidane – netting ten times in 38 games in all competitions.
A goal in the Champions League final against Juventus back in June further established his reputation as one of the most exciting prospects in world football.
It is not just the North London club that are interested in acquiring his services.
Barcelona – who Asensio will face in Sunday night’s first El Clasico of the season in the Spanish Super Cup first leg – are also monitoring his progress.
Ernesto Valverde is looking to lure away the youngster away from Barca’s fiercest rivals, in a deal reminiscent of Luis Figo’s departure from the Catalan club to Real in 2000.
Manchester United and Juventus have held an interest in him, while Liverpool have already had a £42m offer knocked back.
He was named in the team of the tournament in the summer’s Euro Under-21 Championship, winning the silver boot as Spain lost to Germany in the final.