Real Madrid starlet Marco Asensio is reportedly looking for "emergency talks" with the club amid interest in his signature from Arsenal. Elsewhere, Los Blancos are said to be preparing a bid for Ajax defender Davinson Sanchez, but the Dutch club don't want to sell.
Spanish outlet Diario Gol (h/t The Sun's Jake Lambourne) reported Asensio hopes to use the Gunners' interest in him as leverage to earn a new contract worth £5.5 million per year.
That's despite the winger having "no desire to leave Los Blancos" and five years remaining on his contract, which contains a £72 million release clause that Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is said to be willing to trigger.
Real will assuredly be eager to keep Asensio, particularly after he came on to score a sensational late goal in Sunday's 3-1 Spanish Super Cup first-leg win over Barcelona.
Real Madrid TV presenter Phil Kitromilides noted the 21-year-old's imposing record so early in his career at the club:
Asensio has quickly built a reputation as one of manager Zinedine Zidane's most promising young talents since joining from RCD Mallorca in 2014, impressing on loan at Espanyol before joining the first team last season.
The wideman has enjoyed a meteoric rise in his reputation since then, which was recently put into context by ESPN FC's Dermot Corrigan, considering clubs could have bought him for far less only a few years ago:
Any desire Real might have to hand Asensio a new deal would be centred largely around raising his release clause, which looks more affordable following Neymar's world-record £200 million move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain.
Given his current deal runs until 2022, the only pressure on Real is that a club—such as Arsenal—might opt to activate his release clause before then, while his reported wish to earn around £100,000 per week may be deemed premature.
Meanwhile, interest in Ajax centre-back Sanchez is understood to be gathering momentum, and Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf (h/t Daily Star's James Benson) reported Los Merengues are poised to make an offer.
It is also indicated Tottenham Hotspur have already had an opening bid for the 21-year-old turned down, per Sky Sports News reporter Kaveh Solhekol, who disclosed the other clubs thought to be in the running:
The Colombia international caught major attention in his first season in Amsterdam and starred in the UEFA Europa League final defeat to Manchester United, and news of Real's interest may turn his head.
After rejecting Spurs' initial offer for their South American star, Ajax are "hopeful a bidding war will ensue" between those clubs circling for his signature and are said to have accepted a Sanchez exit is "virtually unavoidable."