Real Madrid boss Carlo Ancelotti has insisted that defensive midfielder Asier Illarramendi is going nowhere in the January transfer window and that the 24-year-old still has a part to play at the Bernabeu, according to Metro.
Illarramendi was touted as Xabi Alonso’s long-term successor at Real when he was signed from Real Sociedad for £24m in 2013, yet he has found first-team opportunities at the Spanish giants few and far between this season, despite the fact that Alonso has since moved on to Bayern Munich.
Premier League outfit Arsenal are keen on bringing Illarramendi to the Emirates this month as they look to bolster their options in midfield, however Ancelotti has been quick to dismiss speculation surrounding the Spaniard’s future.
“He is a player of Real Madrid and though it’s true he hasn’t played much, we still have confidence in him,” he said.
“He’s important in the locker room.”
Illarramendi has made a total of 21 appearances for Real Madrid this season, but finds himself behind Luka Modric and Toni Kroos in the pecking order. Meanwhile, Arsenal face Brighton in the fourth round of the FA Cup on Sunday.
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