MANCHESTER UNITED have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Marco Asensio with Barcelona keen on the winger.
Asensio has been linked with a Premier League move over the last few years.
Liverpool and Arsenal have been credited with an interest in the Real Madrid star but United were reportedly considering a summer move.
Asensio, 27, is out of contract in the summer and Barcelona have made contact with him, according to Sport.
Asensio is now represented by superagent Jorge Mendes, who has a close relationship with Barca president Joan Laporta.
But Real are keen to keep Asensio and have opened negotiations for a new deal.
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However, an agreement is yet to be reached between the two parties with Asensio demanding a higher salary than Los Blancos are willing to pay.
That could open the door to United, who are able to approach Asensio on a pre-contract basis.
And the Red Devils are one of a few clubs who would be able to afford Asensio's reported £120,000-a-week salary.
Asensio joined Real Madrid from Mallorca for around £3.5million in 2014.
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He has contributed 52 goals and 27 assists in 250 appearances for the club.
And his trophy cabinet since arriving at the Bernabeu includes three LaLiga titles and three Champions Leagues.
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