The most recent star of La Real to receive attention is 23-year-old midfielder Asier Illarramendi. Clubs first became interested in "Illara" after his recent exploits with Spain’s U-21 side.
A report from the Daily Mail a few weeks ago claimed that Arsenal was highly interested in the midfielder, hoping to pair him up with fellow Basque Mikel Artera. But Arsenal’s rumored price of £10million seemed to have gotten them nowhere.
However, other clubs have begun to target the Sociedad man as well.
Marca reports that after watching Illarramendi with Spain’s U-21 team, newly appointed Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti immediately placed him on his wish list as a necessity.
It is believed that Ancelotti sees Illarramendi as a perfect partner and eventual replacement for the aging Xabi Alonso, but nothing has come of the rumors as of yet.
But despite interest from bigger clubs, it looks as though Illarramendi will not be leaving either.
In a report for Sky Sports, Lucas Brown quoted Real Sociedad manager Jagoba Arraste, who admitted that clubs are interested, but there is no negotiation. Below are his exact words on the matter.
It is true that we are talking about one of the biggest clubs in the world, both in economic and sporting terms. However, we are not going to negotiate for him. He is not for sale. The club has made it clear, and I think the player has too, that we are not going to discuss hypothetical situations. Illarramendi has said he is very happy here and I have talked to him about in person and is very excited about the coming season. There is no plan B for us with him and he will be with us for pre-season training on Thursday.
As with Griezmann, it looks as though Asier Illarramendi will be staying put.