Illarramendi finally makes the move to the Bernabeu.
Real Madrid have confirmed the signing of Real Sociedad and Spain under-21 midfielder Asier Illarramendi, who was previously targeted by Arsenal.
We’ve just signed Asier Illarramendi. Please welcome him using the hashtag #WelcomeIllarramendi
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) July 12, 2013
The fee for the 23-year-old is believed to be around €30m – the Spaniard’s buy-out clause at Sociedad – which had to be activated with the club not wanting to sell their starlet.
Illarramendi had a great 12 months for both club and country, helping the La Liga side to a surprising fourth place finish in the league and qualification for the Champions League, as well as being instrumental in Spain’s triumph at the European under-21 Championship in Israel.
The midfielder was the product of the youth system at the Anoeta Stadium and before departing for Madrid had played 56 matches in all competitions for Sociedad.
Illarramendi is Los Blancos’ fourth summer signing and second big money acquisition following the €27m transfer of fellow under-21 superstar Isco from Malaga.
Madrid now boast a bumper midfield packed with talent, as along with the new players Xabi Alonso, Sami Khedira, Kaka, Luka Modric, Angel Di Maria and Mesut Ozil are all at the club, along with another new signing Casemiro and promoted youth sensation Jese.
The news will come as a disappointment to the Gunners, with the north London club viewing Illarramendi as the perfect addition to their midfield.
However, the lure of the Santiago Bernabeu just proved to be too much for the Sociedad man in the end as the nine-time European champions continue to splash the cash.