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Arsenal face fight for Spanish starlet

Asier Illarramendi (Real Sociedad)Arsenal’s hopes of securing a summer deal for Real Sociedad midfielder Asier Illarramendi have suffered a set-back with Real Madrid keen on his signature, according to reports from talkSPORT.

The Gunners have been strongly linked with a move for the 23-year-old over the course of the last few weeks, with Arsene Wenger having been impressed by his performances during the U-21 European Championships.

Some reports had suggested that the Frenchman was willing to pursue a deal, with the youngster seen as an alternative to Everton’s Marouane Fellaini, who could cost in excess of £20m.

But, Illarramendi’s impressive performances have also caught the eye of Real, who are now ready to step up their transfer plans.

Having named Carlo Ancelotti as their new manager, the La Liga giants are said to be plotting a summer of big spending.

With Xabi Alonso nearing the end of his career, Illarramendi is seen as his successor due their similar playing styles.

As a result of the ex-Liverpool man’s contract being due to expire next year, Real are thought to be keen to tie up a deal for the starlet in the coming months in a bid to ease him into the first-team.

Illarramendi has said that he would like to stay with his boyhood club to help them with the Champions League campaign, but he could be tempted by a big move.

Arsenal fans, Asier Illarramendi or Maroune Fellaini?

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Article title: Arsenal face fight for Spanish starlet

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