Real Madrid outcast to remain in Spain.
Asier Illarramendi signed for Real Madrid only 18 months ago, yet has spent much of his time on the periphery since his prodigious £24m arrival, and David Moyes wants to bring the midfielder back to Real Sociedad, reports the Daily Star.
The 24-year-old has made just four starts in La Liga this campaign, fulfilling a role not far beyond bench-warming, and Moyes is optimistic that Illarramendi can be convinced to return to his boyhood club, ahead of Premier League interest from Arsenal and Liverpool.
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Sociedad sit mid-table of La Liga, easing fears that the club could face relegation, and the former Red Devils boss has one eye on next season as he plans his summer bids.
In his long reign with Everton and short time with Manchester United, Moyes is renowned for building a defensive team, and believes Illarramendi would be an excellent acquisition as he begins to settle in Spain and build his own side.
The 24-year-old was brought in as a potential long-term replacement for Xabi Alonso, yet has failed to live up to expectations, and the arrival of fellow defensive-midfielder Lucas Silva this month could push the 24-year-old further down the pecking-order.
Arsenal and Liverpool were anticipated to submit deadline day offers for the Real outcast, but this failed to materialise. Atletico Madrid are also reported to be monitoring Illarramendi as a potential summer target.