ARSENAL failed to sign Real Madrid star Marco Asensio back in 2014, according to Spanish football expert Guillem Balague.
Asensio enjoyed an impressive breakthrough campaign at Real Madrid last term and has carried his form over into the new season.
And the Spain international, who has bagged four goals in his opening five games, has been heavily linked with a move to Arsenal in recent weeks.
Balague claims the Gunners have been interested in Asensio since he was at Mallorca in 2014, when he snubbed a move to the Emirates for Real Madrid.
And he doubts Asensio will want to leave the Bernabeu anytime soon, with Real keen to tie him down to a new contract to increase his buy-out clause.
“It’s been rumoured that Arsenal are interested,” Balague told Sky Sports. “He’s a player Arsenal have looked at before he went to Real Madrid, which is a time to get these types of players.
“Now he’s at Madrid and he’s very happy to be at Madrid. It has been reported that his buy-out clause is £78m, actually it’s higher than that.
“I’ve asked Real Madrid and they’ve said the buy-out clause is confidential. Some say £150m, others say £300m. The fact is they’re preparing a new contract with an even higher clause.
“At the moment the most important thing is he’s happy at Real Madrid.
“He will be the star of Real Madrid and in the next couple of years we’ll be talking about him being one of the top five players in the world.”
Real Madrid superstar Cristiano Ronaldo was linked with a move away from the Bernabeu earlier in the window – but Balague insists the 32-year-old is staying put.
Balague added: “He moans and moans and moans and moans but he will stay. Remember, his buy-out clause is €1billion – he’s going nowhere.
“He’s not completely happy, he never is. But meanwhile he will stay at Real Madrid, definitely this season.”