Reports in Spain suggest that Real Sociedad midfielder Asier Illarramendi is Carlo Ancelotti's main transfer target.
Spain once again conquered Europe at the European Under-21 Championships in Israel this summer and while much of the attention was on the impressive performances of Isco, Thiago Alcantara and Alvaro Morata at the tournament one other player really caught the eye.
Asier Illaramendi came off the back of helping Real Sociedad to a Champions League place in 2013-14 into the Under-21 side and played a pivotal role in the nation’s success.
That form has obviously attracted interest from bigger clubs both at home and abroad.
In the Premier League Arsenal are the team being most strongly linked with his signature as he would fit in perfectly to their team’s style of play.
The Daily Mail linked them with a £10 million interest in the player earlier in the month.
The 23-year-old midfielder has been talked of as potentially the next Xabi Alonso because of his Basque roots and similar playing style and that is not an unfair assessment.
But it seems he may be lined up as his replacement as well as his successor; at least if Carlo Ancelotti gets his own way.
It seems if Arsenal are to pursue this talented Spaniard they will have to get past Real Madrid first.
According to a report today in Spanish publication AS the former Chelsea manager has highlighted the Real Sociedad man as his number one target for the midfield this summer.
Los Merengues are in need of a midfield acquisition with Nuri Sahin returning to Borussia Dortmund and Michael Essien’s loan deal from Chelsea expiring it is believed that one more player is being targeted.
And with Xabi Alonso’s contract expiring in 2014 his long-term replacement would seem the perfect solution.
However the press in Spain are not entirely sure that he will actually be going anywhere.
Sociedad are not keen on a sale and considering they have him under contract until 2016 they are not exactly under any pressure to sell.
So either way it looks as though any chance of Arsenal signing the talented midfielder remains slim.
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