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Your Transfer Rumour Is Bullshit: Liverpool Offered Marco Asensio Swap for Sadio Mané

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Hala Silly Season.

Spain v Norway - UEFA EURO 2020 Qualifier Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

Ok so here’s the supposed logic.

One, Sadio Mané is really good. As Real Madrid go for a dramatic rebuild, he could certainly be of use there. Having scored in the 2018 Champions League final (AKA the one we don’t talk about), Zinedine Zidane may well be an admirer. There were some fairly silly rumours last summer about Madrid interest in this vein, so it’s understandable that they might revisit such a target.

Marco Asensio, it’s fair to say, has stalled in his career. Once tipped as a future star for Real Madrid and the Spain national team, Asensio managed just one goal and four assists in La Liga last season. His talent, though, remains undeniable, and it would make perfect sense that new surroundings might be the way to go for the Spaniard to unlock his ability.

So apparently they’re going to swap? That’s what the Express is claiming. Let us argue that this is not going to happen.

First of all, swap deals almost never happen. When was the last one you can think of? I have to cast my mind all the way back to Samuel Eto’o going to Inter with Zlatan Ibrahimovic heading to Barcelona a decade ago for one of this scale. The logistics of a swap deal, of finding an agreeable value for both players, of getting both to want to move and agree new contracts at the respective clubs, is so difficult as to make them such rare events.

Next, do Liverpool even want Asensio? He doesn’t feel like a Klopp player, certainly less so than Mané. It’s not obvious what he offers in a pressing system. I can believe that Madrid might be done with him, but why would Liverpool be interested. Mané is integral to Liverpool’s system. Asensio wouldn’t overlap with that skillset much at all.

It’s a long summer, folks.