Liverpool could rival AC Milan in an attempt to sign Marco Asensio next year, with Jurgen Klopp’s Reds exploring a potential deal for the Real Madrid maestro, per Calciomercato.

The Anfield and San Siro outfits are sounding out Asensio’s situation after a difficult start to the term at the Santiago Bernabeu. Carlo Ancelotti only started the 25-year-old for the first time in La Liga this season on Wednesday. Yet he marked the night by scoring a hat-trick.

Ancelotti had been reluctant to trust Asensio too often since returning to the Real Madrid helm this summer. The former Everton boss had only fielded the Spaniard for 68-minutes over his four prior league appearances before hosting Mallorca.

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Asensio responded on Wednesday night in the best way possible to his omission from the action at Valencia last Sunday. The 2020 Olympic silver medallist doubled Los Blancos’ lead in the 24th-minute, before netting again in the 29th and 55th-minutes.

Ancelotti had fielded Asensio in a more centralised role in his midfield core than the £125k-a-week maestro is accustomed to. But left a real impression on the Italian from the engine room, with Ancelotti noting via ESPN after the game:

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“[He showed] that he can play in this position. It’s a position where he can do lot of damage. It’s between the lines, it isn’t out wide, getting the ball there with the shot he has is dangerous for the opponents.”

Liverpool may struggle to lure Asensio away from Real Madrid if Ancelotti continues to give chances and he impresses. Reports by Marca note he rejected offers to join Tottenham and Milan this summer. Instead focusing his efforts entirely on reviving his Galacticos career.

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Tottenham were prepared to make Asensio their great objective of the summer and offer him a key role. That has not been the case at Real Madrid thus far this season, much to his frustration. Marca also note there has been tension at the Bernabeu with his bit-part role.

Liverpool could have potentially utilised Asensio’s frustrations to convince him to leave Real Madrid next year. Yet if he now maintains the form shown in midweek, he will validate his decision to stay put this summer. And scupper and club’s hopes of signing him in 2022.