New Real Sociedad boss Jagoba Arrasate insists midfielder Asier Illarramendi is staying with the San Sebastian club next season.
The highly-rated 23-year-old [pictured, right], a member of Spain’s European Under-21 Championship-winning team last month, has been attracting the attentions of a host of top clubs, including Real Madrid.
Nonetheless, on overseeing the La Real squad’s first day back at work for pre-season training, Arrasate was adamant where the club stand concerning Illarramendi.
“We are aware Illarramendi is a very important player for us and the club would like to make it clear that we are not willing to enter negotiations about him, although it’s fairly obvious in football there are circumstances beyond our control,” he told reporters.
“Yes, it’s true, we have spoken to one of the most powerful clubs in the world, but I must mention what [director of football] Loren and [President] Jokim Aperribay have said and what Illarramendi himself has said – that the player is happy to be here.
“I’ve had the chance to speak to Asier personally and he told me how excited he was about the start of the new season.
“We’ve not put together a Plan B where he would leave so I hope he’ll be back here a week on Thursday to train with the rest of his teammates.”
Meanwhile, the Coach was asked about striker Diego Ifran’s situation after he received several offers from a number of La Segunda clubs, including Real Zaragoza.
“I still have to speak to him to hear what he intends to do but he’s in my plans for the new season.
“If we do sign another frontman then only then will we need to look at the roles open to each of our other forwards,” he explained.