Real Madrid have upped their offer for Real Sociedad midfielder Asier Illarramendi to €35m after a €34m bid was rejected on Wednesday.
The two clubs had reached agreement on a €30m transfer last week with just the fine details to be ironed out, only for the Basques to then ask for the release clause in the player’s contract to be met.
Marca reports that Los Blancos have now increased their offer. However, negotiations continue to drag on as La Real are demanding Madrid pay the equivalent of the 23-year-old’s €30m release clause, in addition to assuming responsibility for the 21 per cent VAT on the deal – €6.3m.
It is a method of payment the San Sebastian club are keen to favour rather than directly activating the clause, in which case Illarramendi would be required to hand over the €30m to the Spanish League and thus be liable for 51 per cent income tax.
This would raise the cost of the operation to €45.3m, something Madrid President Florentino Perez is reluctant to consider.