BREAKING: Aston Villa are 'closing in' on a sensational switch for Real Madrid star Marco Asensio
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Aston Villa are closing in on a sensational free transfer for Real Madrid star Marco Asensio, reports say.
The Midlands outfit have secured European football next season after a win over Brighton on the final day of the Premier League season and they are already planning ahead.
According to Jose Felix Diaz of MARCA, Villa are the firm favourite for Asensio's signature and Unai Emery is personally trying to convince the Spain international to make the switch.
The likes of Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona, AC Milan and Arsenal have all registered interest in the 27-year-old, whose contract expires on June 30.
Asensio has not yet made a decision on his future but agent Jorge Mendes is working hard on a move after he rejected a contract extension with Real and it's said a deal with Villa is "very close".
A move for Asensio, who has won three La Liga titles and three Champions Leagues would represent a huge coup for Villa.
The former RCD Mallorca man's game-time has been reduced significantly in recent times but he has still scored an impressive 24 goals in his last two seasons.
Asensio signed for Real for a dirt-cheap €3.9 million fee in 2014, with Tennis legend Rafa Nadal said to be key in making the transfer happen.
He's gone on to make over 200 appearances for Los Blancos but looks set for a final outing against Athletic Bilbao at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday.
Real manager Carlo Ancelotti has said he doesn't know whether Asensio will be staying put but expects things to become clear soon.
He told a press conference: "On the subject of Asensio, I don't know what the situation is, just as I don't know about Nacho. Before the last game, everything will be cleared up."
On a personal level, I'm sad to see them go because they are very important. We'll prepare for next season depending on the decisions they make."