Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho wants to prepare a huge offer for Real Madrid star Marco Asensio after deciding against pursuing Gareth Bale.
The Welshman was thought to be on Jose Mourinho’s radar but the forward’s struggles with injuries this season has put the Manchester United manager off.
However, Spanish outlet Don Balon claim the Portuguese is now intent on signing his team-mate Asensio.
The midfielder has already made a name for himself at the Bernabeu at just 21 years of age, although he is yet to cement himself as regular starter under Zinedine Zidane.
And Mourinho is willing to take advantage of the situation by offering him a starring role at Old Trafford.
Asensio is under contract until 2020 and has a buyout clause of an estimated €500m (£442m).
Don Balon claim United will pay nowhere near that fee but are still willing to fork out a mega-money offer that they believe Madrid president Florentino Perez would consider.
Perez has dreams of bringing Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar back to La Liga but knows they would likely need to pay a world record transfer fee for the Brazilian.
And with Asensio not getting the game time at Los Blancos, the Red Devils hope their offer will persuade the Spaniard and Perez into doing business.
Despite Mourinho being a long-term admirer of Bale, having also chased him last summer, the former Chelsea boss believes investing the club’s money in a younger, less injury-prone Asensio, is the right decision.
Asensio has scored seven goals in all competitions for Madrid this season, while Bale has managed three goals in just 10 appearances.