Carmen Colino / Roberto Ramajo
Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez has indicated his intention to sign Asier Illarramendi to the player’s club, Real Sociedad. The 23-year-old’s transfer to the Santiago Bernabéu could be completed within the next 72 hours.
Illarramendi is keen to make the move to the Spanish capital. The Basque outfit are holding out for 30 million euros – the full price of his release clause. The expectation is that the two clubs will negotiate a deal which sees ‘Los Blancos’ pay the 30 million, but that the fee will not include tax. This was also the case when Madrid signed Sergio Ramos from Sevilla in 2005.
The Spain Under-21 international would quadruple his salary at Madrid, while ‘La Real’ would receive a significant sum from the sale. The midfielder has requested that, if possible, the situation be resolved before his return to training on 11 July. This has led to the speed of the negotiations: he does not wish to begin pre-season at Anoeta only to have to leave shortly after, and above all he does not want a transfer saga to develop. Illarramendi is currently on the Balearic Islands, and is being kept up-to-date by his representatives.
Should the deal fall through, Madrid will seek an alternative. New coach Carlo Ancelotti is an admirer of Sevilla’s Geoffrey Kondogbia, who would cost eight million euros. Meanwhile, the agent of Paris Saint-Germain’s Marco Verratti, Donato Di Campli, appeared to leave the door open for his client to move to the club, commenting on Thursday: “Marco to Madrid? It could happen.”
The Real Sociedad players are thought to have reached a pact stopping any player from departing the club ahead of the coming Champions League campaign. However, there is an acceptance that Illarramendi’s future lies elsewhere. On Thursday, team-mate Xabi Prieto said: “We don’t know what his intentions will be, but if Madrid intend to pay his release clause it’ll be very difficult to keep him. We’ll respect his decision, but it would be a blow if he left. But, for the moment, he is a Real Sociedad player”