Real Madrid midfielder Asier Illarramendi has been linked to a potential transfer to F.C. Porto over the summer according to Portuguese newspaper A Bola.
The 24-year-old Spaniard has suffered through a lack of form and has struggled to receive first team minutes since coming to Madrid following the success of Spain’s 2013 UEFA European Football Championship campaign.
New Porto boss Julen Lopetegui has some history with Illarramendi, having stepped down as manager of Spain’s U21 coach to take the Porto job. The 47-year-old manager offers Illarramendi a fresh start with a new and smaller club as well as a familiar face.
Illarramendi has registered 48 appearances and 3 goals in all competitions for Real this season, and looks set for a start in the Champions League final to replace the suspended Xabi Alonso.
Having come to Madrid in the same transfer window as Isco, Illarramendi has not seen the same success as his fellow young midfielder.
It remains to be seen if Porto can afford to steal Illarramendi from the Bernabéu. Real Madrid spent €32 million to pry the defensive midfielder from Real Sociedad and they would like to recover as much of that as possible.
Porto finished the 2013/2014 campaign a disappointing third in Primeira Liga, 13 points behind champion Benfica.