Real Madrid have completed the signing of 23-year-old Spanish midfielder Asier Illarramendi from Real Sociedad for £32.8m after agreeing to pay the buy-out clause in Illarramendi’s contract. The defensive midfielder is seen as the ideal replacement for Xabi Alonso as he turns 32 later this year.
Real Madrid have released a statement saying that he has signed a 6 year contract at The Bernabeu, and will be presented to the public tomorrow after under-going relevant medical tests. Illarramendi was part of Spain’s winning Under-21 European Championship side this summer, featuring in every game during the tournament in Israel. He was also central to Real Sociedad’s successful league campaign, making 32 appearances as they finished fourth in La Liga and secured Champions League football for the first time in 10 years.
Asier Illarramendi stated that “It hasn’t been an easy decision, It has been very difficult for me to decide, because Real Sociedad have given me so much. I was on holiday when we started to hear about the interest from Real Madrid. There were contacts, we mulled it over, and we came to the conclusion that it was an offer we couldn’t refuse. It’s a unique opportunity.
He went on thank the board, the academy coaches, the backroom staff and his team-mates for their support during his time with Real Sociedad. Illarramendi will join up with fellow Spain Under-21 team-mate Isco who Madrid signed earlier in the window, bringing the total number of players brought in my Real to 4.