Carlo Ancelotti keen on keeping playmaker Asier Illarramendi at the Bernabeu.
Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti has played down speculation suggesting that midfielder Asier Illarramendi could be leaving the Bernabeu in the near future, report the Metro, with the Spaniard having been strongly linked with a move to Arsenal recently after Real confirmed the signing of Cruzeiro star Lucas Silva.
Silva is another deep central midfield player, joining the likes of Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Sami Khedira as well as Illarramendi on the books at the Bernabeu, and it has been suggested that former Real Sociedad star Illarramendi would find himself surplus to requirements as a result of the new boy.
Speculation linking the player with Arsenal appears to have arisen from the fact that Arsene Wenger is known to be on the hunt for a defensively minded midfield player, with Illarramendi seen to fit the bill despite his playmaking instincts.
Athletic Bilbao are also interested in taking Illarramendi back to the Basque country, however, whilst Real manager Carlo Ancelotti has moved to dismiss any speculation linking his man with a swift exit:
“He is a player of Real Madrid and though it’s true he hasn’t played much, we still have confidence in him,” said the Italian coach.
“He’s important in the locker room.”