Blow for Arsenal as Real Madrid have upper hand on two Gunners targets

Antoine Griezmann

Real Madrid have reportedly gained the upper hand in their bid to sign Real Sociedad duo Carlos Vela and Antoine Griezmann.

Real secured a stunning Champions League win last weekend by beating city rivals Atletico Madrid 4-1 in Lisbon, clinching their tenth European title. Despite this, the club finished third in La Liga behind Barcelona and Atletico, leaving manager Carlo Ancelotti with work to do as we enter the summer transfer window.

With the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale, Angel di Maria and Karim Benzema already at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, few would be expecting Real to make strong attempts to add more attacking firepower this summer, but speculation in Spain suggests that they have lined up a double swoop on La Liga rivals Real Sociedad.

Sociedad's star duo Vela and Griezmann have been simply outstanding this season for the San Sebastian outfit, combining for 33 goals and 15 assists in all competitions. With pace and the ability to score, the pair have attracted interest from some of the biggest clubs around Europe - including Arsenal.

The Gunners are looking to boost their frontline and had reportedly set their sights on ex-Arsenal flop Vela and French international Griezmann, but aware of interest from elsewhere, Madrid have made a proposal to Sociedad which could swing the deal in their favour.

In an effort to secure the duo, Madrid are reportedly willing to allow midfielder Asier Illarramendi a return to Sociedad just one year after arriving from them, in an exchange deal involving Vela and Griezmann heading to the Spanish capital.

The speculation would serve as a huge blow to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, who will know that Sociedad would love to have their former star midfielder Illarramendi back, whilst the two players would surely rather stay in Spain and play for the Champions League winners rather than head to England and play for a team who have won one trophy in nine years.

If there is a silver lining though, it's that the potential arrival of Vela and Griezmann at Madrid could open up the possibility of di Maria and Benzema being sold - who have both been strongly linked with moves to North London this week.

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