Asier Illarramendi set for Real Sociedad return

Asier Illarramendi set for Real Sociedad return


Real Madrid midfielder Asier Illarramendi is set for a return to former club Real Sociedad, according to reports in Spain.

AS and Mundo Deportivo claim the Basque outfit have reached a deal with the 10-time Champions League winners that would see Illarramendi return to Anoeta on a season long loan before the club buys him outright for 16 million euros next summer.

Illarramendi has struggled to make an impact at the Santiago Bernabeu ever since he signed two years ago and while Rafa Benitez left the decision in the player’s hands, Los Blancos were keen to balance the books after shelling out 30 million euros last week to sign Mateo Kovacic from Inter Milan.

As he arrived in San Sebastian for his medical on Wednesday morning ahead of signing a deal later in the day, Illarramendi said returning to the club was his first option. He had also attracted the interest of the like of Premier League sides Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur.

“Very happy. Of course, I wanted to return, I haven’t yet spoken to my teammates, later I will speak with them. Real [Sociedad] has always been my first option and I was really wanting to return home, of course,” he said.

Illarramendi was seen as the long-term successor to Xabi Alonso at Madrid but found his way to regular first team football blocked by the likes of Sami Khedira and Toni Kroos.