The Daily Express have picked up an article by Spanish paper, Deportivo Mundo which reveals that Arsenal are preparing a bid for Real Madrid’s Asier Illarramendi who is currently surplus to requirements at the Bernabeu.
The Gunners are keen to secure the signature of a defensive midfielder to cover for current first choice starter, Francis Coquelin after the departure of injury prone Abou Diaby and the imminent departure of back up midfielder, Mathieu Flamini.
However, the Gunners pursuit of the Spanish Under-23 international would not be without complications as Premier League rivals Liverpool are also interested in snapping up the midfielder as they see him as a potential replacement for current longest serving player Lucas Leiva. The Reds are currently short of true defensive midfielders in the squad with only Emre Can available if the Brazilian leaves the club.
Illarramendi has struggled to consistently feature in the first team for Los Blancos after sealing a move from Real Sociedad in 2012. He has only completed the full minutes 14 times in La Liga and following the recent arrival of Mateo Kovacic from Inter Milan, he appears to have dropped further in the pecking order. The Metro have also linked Real Madrid with a move for Sporting’s William Carvalho.
Illarramendi has made a miserly return of just 2 goals in 59 appearances for the capital club but has been hugely impressive with his passes, completing 91% of them. He made 42 interceptions last season for the club at an average of 3.02 per 90 minutes.