Liverpool have been handed a boost in their chase for Asier Illarramendi, who has been made to train with the reserves by current club Real Madrid, as reported by the Daily Star.
The Spain youth international made the switch to the Santiago Bernabeu last summer for a huge fee of €32.2 million, but has struggled to impose himself on the first team on a regular basis since that point.
The likes of Toni Kroos and James Rodriguez signed in the summer, making his route to the first team slightly more difficult too.
He has been joined in training with the reserves by Sami Khedira.
Liverpool have been frequently linked with a move for Illarramendi, and the player will almost certainly not be happy about being made to drop to a lesser squad.
This could open a route to a switch for the Anfield club, who require a defensive minded midfielder like Illarramendi.
Arsenal are plotting a move for Real Madrid misfit Asier Illarramendi in January, as reported by Caught Offside.
The north London club missed out on the signature of his Real Madrid team mate Sami Khedira in the summer, with the German star’s wage demands scuppering hopes of the club completing a deal for the World Cup winner.
However, they are now targeting his fellow Real midfield man, Illarramendi, who has struggled to establish himself at the Champions League winners since his arrival at the club last summer.
The former Real Sociedad player is regarded as an elegant midfielder, but competition has stopped him from claiming a first team berth.
Aside from Khedira, he now has to compete with the likes of Toni Kroos for a place in the starting eleven at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Should Real sign another player to replace the departed Xabi Alonso, it seems Arsenal would be in pole position to capture the 24-year-old midfielder.