Arsenal and Liverpool square off in race for Real Madrid star

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Asier Illarramendi, Real Madrid

According to reports from The Metro this morning, Premier League duo Arsenal and Liverpool are both pursuing Real Madrid star Asier Illarramendi ahead of the summer transfer window.

The defensive midfielder arrived at the Bernabeu for a €32.2million fee in summer 2013 after impressing at Real Sociedad and was viewed by many as a natural successor to Xabi Alonso, sharing the 2010 World Cup winner’s long-range passing game.

But he’s often struggled to live up to his price-tag and comparisons with the Spain international, this season making just seven starts in La Liga compared to twenty outings from the bench.

The Metro claim both Arsenal and Liverpool are keen on the 25 year-old, who expects to leave the Bernabeu this summer after Real Madrid’s January swoop for Brazil U21 midfielder Lucas Silva, and moot him with a £28.8million price-tag.

But the British Newspaper also claims the Gunners are leading the race for Illarramendi’s signature – something they revealed in a separate report over the weekend.

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