Real Madrid C.F. have completed the signing of Spain Under-21 midfielder Asier Illarramendi from Real Sociedad on a six-year deal after agreeing to meet his release clause of €32,190,000, according to the club’s official website, www.realmadrid.com.
Illarramendi, 23, will join fellow new signings Daniel Carvajal, Casemiro and Isco at the Estadio Santiago Bernabéu next season.
The 23-year-old midfielder is expected to be the long-term replacement for Xabi Alonso, who continues to be linked with a summer move to Chelsea F.C.
Illarramendi was an important figure at Sociedad last season, propelling the San Sebastián-based club into the UEFA Champions League for the first time since the 2003/04 season.
“It hasn’t been an easy decision,” said the Spain youth international. “It has been very difficult for me to decide, because Real Sociedad have given me so much.
“I was on holiday when we started to hear about the interest from Real Madrid. There were contacts, we mulled it over, and we came to the conclusion that it was an offer we couldn’t refuse. It’s a unique opportunity.
“I thank the board, the academy coaches, the backroom staff and my team-mates (at Sociedad). I wish them all the best, this club will achieve great things.”
The signing of Illarramendi, who completed 95.1 percent of his total passes at the 2013 UEFA European Under-21 Championship in Israel, has opened the door for Sevilla FC midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia to complete a move to the English Premier League amid reported interest from Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United.
The highly-rated Kondogbia has partnered Juventus’ Paul Pogba in midfield for France at the FIFA Under-20 World Cup in Turkey this summer, with Les Bleus scheduled to face Uruguay in the final at the Ali Sami Yen Stadium in Istanbul on Saturday.
Jeremy Helan to Wednesday
Sheffield Wednesday F.C. have signed former France Under-19 winger Jeremy Helan from Manchester City for an undisclosed fee, Sky Sports understands.
Since joining City from French side Stade Rennais in February 2009, Helan, 21, has spent time on loan at Carlisle United, Shrewsbury Town and Sheffield Wednesday.
A number of clubs in the Championship were interested in Helan, including Wolverhampton Wanderers, but the player wanted to return to Hillsborough, according to the club’s manager Dave Jones.
“We have done a lot of hard work to get him here,” said Jones.
“Other clubs were aware of what he did here last season and wanted him on board, but he really enjoyed his time here and wanted to come back.
“To get Jeremy on a permanent transfer represents a really good signing for the football club, and is a statement of intent because he is a really talented footballer. He is young and has a terrific future in the game.”
Helan, who made just one first-team appearance for City, tallied one goal and two assists in 28 league appearances for Sheffield Wednesday last season.