Reports: Manchester United plot stunning swap deal for Real Madrid superstar in January
What's the story?
Manchester United are willing to sell Marcus Rashford to Real Madrid, but only if Los Blancos offer them Marco Asensio in return, according to a report in British news outlet, The Daily Express. Madrid president, Florentino Perez is reportedly desperate to sign a striker in January to prevent further stumbles in the La Liga title race, with Zinedine Zidane identifying Marcus Rashford as an ideal signing. However, the Red Devils are only willing to listen to any offers about Rashford if the Spanish giants include their prized youngster Marco Asensio as part of the deal. Jose Mourinho is reportedly a huge fan of the Spanish winger and would even be willing to offer extra cash alongside Rashford to force through a deal.
In case you didn't know...
Marcus Rashford came through the ranks at Manchester United before making a stunning rise to the first team under Louis van Gaal. Marco Asensio, on the other hand, came through RCD Mallorca's academy before signing for Real Madrid in 2014 for a mere €3.9 million. The duo have both played 16 games this season, although the Englishman significantly outperforms the Spaniard in goal contributions, with his 12 (7 goals, 5 assists) dwarfing Asensio's 8 (6 goals, 2 assists).
The heart of the matter
Plenty of reports have been circling in both the Spanish and British press in the last month regarding a move for Rashford to the Bernabeu and that of Asensio to Old Trafford, so perhaps there is some justification for this rumour. Asensio is reportedly tired of the lack of game time being afforded to him, as he views himself ready to start every game as a part of the first XI.
Jose Mourinho would assure Asensio of his first-team chances, having scouted the youngster while he was at Mallorca. The Portuguese manager left Madrid before completing the deal, although Asensio was eventually brought in later. The Red Devils boss is willing to contemplate an exit for fan-favourite Rashford since he views Asensio as the next superstar in the mould of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
However, Real Madrid would be naturally reluctant to let Asensio leave, but given their pressing need for a striker, Los Blancos may bite the bullet and welcome Marcus Rashford to their club.
The two biggest clubs in world football exchanging their future superstars around which fans hopes are built seems unheard of, but then again, stranger things have happened in football.
In a footballing sense, the move actually might work out as both Zinedine Zidane and Jose Mourinho do not seem to trust their respective starlets - and a swap might suit all four parties involved.