Porto ‘want Asier Illarramendi on loan’

Porto ‘want Asier Illarramendi on loan’


Real Madrid midfielder Asier Illarramendi is being tracked by Portuguese side Porto, who want to take him on a season long loan, according to A Bola.

The sports paper said Julen Lopetegui is keen on Illarramendi to replace Fernando, who has signed for Manchester City in a 15 million euro deal. Lopetegui knows the Basque midfielder well having coached him in Spain’s international youth set-up.

Illarramendi looks increasingly likely to leave the Santiago Bernabeu at least on a temporary basis to aid his development. He signed from Real Sociedad last summer in a 35 million euro deal and is seen as the long-term successor to Xabi Alonso.

But he struggled to make a big impact in his first season in the Spanish capital, finding himself down the pecking order behind Alonso, Sami Khedira, Luka Modric and Casemiro. Carlo Ancelotti’s preference for a 4-3-3 formation has also seen his opportunities become more limited.

Despite that, he still made 29 appearances in La Liga, mostly from the bench, and 49 in total last season, scoring three goals along the way. Illarramendi has yet to make an appearance for the Spanish national side, but was part of the Under-21 team that won the European Championship in Israel in 2013.