Real Madrid blocked Arsenal target’s departure, claims Athletic Bilbao president

first_imgAthletic Bilbao president Josu Urrutia has revealed Arsenal target Asier Illarramendi was blocked from leaving Real Madrid in the January transfer window.The midfielder has struggled to make an impact at the Santiago Bernabeu since arriving from Real Sociedad for £25m in 2013.The 24-year-old has started just three La Liga matches this season and it was thought Real Madrid would cash in on his services during the January transfer window.Arsenal were reportedly interested in the former Spain under-21 international – who has been likened to Xabi Alonso – while Athletic Bilbao also made enquires.However Athletic’s president Urrutia has now revealed that Real Madrid blocked Illarramendi from leaving during the most recent transfer window.“There was interest from Athletic in players, although it was focused on Illarramendi,” Urrutia told AS.“I think that he was not given the opportunity. If Real Madrid had wanted to get rid of Illarramendi, he would be out. Their coach has said it.” Real Madrid star Asier Illarramendi 1last_img read more