Liverpool have stepped up efforts to increase their attacking firepower by making a £42m offer for Real Madrid’s Arsenal-linked creative midfielder, Marco Asensio.

The report said that the talented 21-year-old wants first-team assurances and having spent last season on loan at Espanyol, isn’t prepared for another year in similar circumstances. With nine goals and four assists in all competitions for Real this term, the versatile youngster has only completed a full La Liga match on three occasions this season.

He’s been left on the substitutes’ bench or not involved with Real’s matchday squad on 18 different occasions (La Liga and Champions League) this season, prompting suggestions that he’ll leave to secure regular minutes elsewhere.

Why does this concern Arsenal then?

Arsenal were said to be one of few European sides monitoring his progress. The fact that he’s been left disappointed with a lack of regular first-team minutes under Zinedine Zidane was a key issue that could’ve helped tempt him to north London.

With this current offer reportedly tabled, he could move to Jurgen Klopp’s side if his wish for more action cannot be guaranteed with Los Blancos. This comes at a great time for the Reds, who are preparing to deal with Barcelona as they have increased their interest in playmaker Philippe Coutinho.

The void left by the Brazilian would be a significant one, which they’d naturally be hoping that Asensio could help fill. The fact they’d be prepared to overpay for his signature just highlights how Liverpool will look to compete with Europe’s elite with qualification for next season’s UEFA Champions League on the horizon, if not yet sealed.

Arsenal meanwhile, still have an opportunity to make their move before this becomes a case of another player that Wenger has missed out on in the transfer market. Juventus have also been linked with his signature but it’s not like Arsenal are in desperate need of another creative midfielder.

For Asensio to join, it’s entirely possible that the club would need to complete a few outgoing transfers this summer before he becomes comfortable with his squad role, otherwise the Spaniard would end up in a similar situation which he currently finds himself in – frustrated.

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Football writer. Objective reviews and analysis of European football. Lifelong Arsenal fan, youth football enthusiast.