Real Madrid midfielder Asier Illarramendi has blocked a potential £19 million move to Athletic Bilbao.

With the signing of Lucas Silva from Cruzeiro completed last week, Madrid officials were reportedly ready to sit down with Illarramendi to discuss his future at the club. Athletic Bilbao had made it clear that they wanted Carlo Ancelotti’s second-choice midfielder to return to Basque County, but this time in the red-and-white half of the region – the player began his career with Real Sociedad.

According to various reports, Bilbao tabled a bid of £19 million for Illarramendi and were prepared to sign the midfielder until 2020. But the 24-year-old has rejected the move and expressed his desire to continue fighting for his spot in Real Madrid’s starting eleven.

Illarramendi is reportedly satisfied with his current role as Toni Kroos’ back-up and would rather wait until the summer before reassessing his options. At that time, if his prospects of playing for the reigning Club World Cup and European champions haven’t improved, the player will likely push for a move away from Spain. Speculation is the midfielder prefers a move to the Premier League, rather than another La Liga club.

Previously, Arsenal and Liverpool have expressed interest in the 24-year-old defensive midfielder.

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