Asier Illarramendi ‘offered to Napoli’

Asier Illarramendi ‘offered to Napoli’


Italian newspaper Il Mattino has claimed Real Madrid have offered Asier Illarramendi to Seria A side Napoli.

The midfielder only joined Los Blancos from Real Sociedad last summer in a 30-million-euro deal but has found first-team opportunities hard to come by. The 24-year-old was seen as the long-term successor to fellow Basque midfielder Xabi Alonso, but needs playing time to improve his game.

Even with the departure of Angel di Maria and Casemire, and possibly Sami Khedira too, Illarramendi is still behind the likes of Alonso, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos in the pecking order at the Santiago Bernabeu.

The paper claims Los Blancos have offered the defensive midfielder to Rafa Benitez’ side on loan for the season to allow him to get more playing time before coming back and establishing himself in the Spanish capital.

Should a move materialise, Illarramendi would be the fourth Real player to make the move to Napoli in the past 12 months. Last summer, former Los Blancos youth team coach Benitez signed Gonzalo Higuian, Raul Albiol and Jose Callejon from the 10-time European Cup winners.

If it’s true that Illarramendi is available for loan, it could be of interest to La Liga side Athletic Bilbao, who are also keen on the midfielder. A transfer to either of the two sides could be dependent on who qualifies for the Champions League, with the two facing each other in the play-off round. They are locked at 1-1 after the first leg in Naples last week.