Arsenal fans in the Football Transfer Tavern are livid after talkSPORT explained that Athletic Bilbao’s president has revealed that Real Madrid blocked a transfer for Gunners target Asier Illarramendi’s this January.
The 24-year-old midfielder has struggled to cement a place in Carlo Ancelotti’s first team since his move from Real Sociedad 14 months ago and many thought Madrid would cash in on him in January.
He was signed for £25 million and has not been able to justify this transfer fee having rarely been given the full 90 minutes and starting just three La Liga matches this season.
When he first moved to the Bernabeu, he was seen as the long-term heir to Xabi Alonso’s throne and Arsenal were interested whilst Bilbao also made enquiries.
However after failing to land the midfielder, Bilbao president Josu Urrutia revealed that Los Blancos blocked any move for Illarramendi towards the latter end of the recently closed transfer window.
“There was interest from Athletic in players, although it was focused on Illarramendi,” said Urrutia.
“I think that he was not given the opportunity. If Real Madrid had wanted to get rid of Illarramendi, he would be out. Their coach has said it.”
Arsenal fans. Did you really need to land a player such as Illarramendi this January given the presence of Francis Coquelin in the team in recent weeks? Let us know your thoughts below.
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