Arsenal are preparing to trigger Marco Asensio’s £72m release clause, according to reports.

The Mirror claim that the Gunners are hoping to take advantage of uncertainty over Asensio’s playing time now that Gareth Bale and Isco have returned.

We previously reported that Asensio doesn’t seem keen to leave Madrid this summer, and that rumours of a move seem mostly driven by the player’s desire for a new contract.

The player has been in very good form for Los Blancos so far this season, and Real Madrid will be even more unwilling to part with him now that rivals Barcelona have signed their own young superstar in Ousmane Dembélé.

Arsenal spent at least part of the summer chasing Thomas Lemar, a transfer that now seems impossible after Arsène Wenger called it “dead” in a recent press conference. So the Gunners are seemingly in the market for a forward player.

In addition, despite breaking their club transfer record this summer, Arsenal really haven’t spent that much on a net basis. Alexandre Lacazette is the only player brought in for a fee, with multiple players departing on permanent deals.

So it’s perfectly plausible that Arsenal will want to spend money on someone like Asensio, and they have the funds to do so.

However, it is implausible that Marco would have any interest in leaving, so this story is unlikely to go anywhere in the final days of the window.