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Arsenal ‘Lead Race’ For €29m Real Madrid Outcast
According to reports, Arsenal are leading the race to sign €29m-rated Real Madrid outcast Asier Illarramendi this summer.
We were linked with the 25-year-old when he left Real Sociedad in the summer of 2013 but missed out after Madrid agreed to a deal worth around €32m.
However, Illarramendi has struggled to establish himself at the Bernabeu under Carlo Ancelotti and has completed just five La Liga games so far this season with Sami Khedira, Lucas Silva, Toni Kroos and Luka Modric all ahead of him in the midfield pecking order.
FIFA agent Marco Mastrodonato revealed recently that Illarramendi is likely to be on the move this summer and it appears the midfielder could be heading to the Premier League.
The Daily Star are citing sources from Spain which claim that Arsenal are leading the race for his signature with Madrid ready to cash-in for around €29m (£21m), while Liverpool are also thought to be serious contenders.
Illarramendi is a deep-laying playmaker so if we were to sign him, he’d be a replacement for Mikel Arteta and not the powerful defensive midfielder many fans feel we need this summer.
I am a fan of Illarramendi’s and Arsene has a soft spot for ball-players in front of the defence, but I’m hoping the emergence of Francis Coquelin in recent months may have opened his eyes to the type of player we really need to protect the back four.
Coquelin has been outstanding and it’s his interceptions, tackling and work-rate in front of the defence that’s been the foundation of our excellent form in 2015 so to revert back to an Arteta-style holding player would be a huge mistake.
Therefore, I personally don’t think Illarramendi would be the right signing for us this summer as we need someone like Coquelin who can add depth and competition for the Frenchman, but of course it’s Wenger’s decision so we’ll have to wait and see what the boss decides to do.