Jagoba Arraste insists that Real Sociedad midfielder and Arsenal transfer target Asier Illarramendi won’t be sold, while PSG dismisses rumours linking Thiago Silva with FC Barcelona.
Arsenal Target Asier Illarramendi To Stay, Insists Real Sociedad coach
Real Sociedad punched above their weight last season and managed to finish fourth in the league and snatching a place in the qualifying rounds of the Champions League. Asier Illarramendi was one of the stars of that team who grabbed a lot of attention due to his wonderful performances and consistency, at such an young age. Most recently he was seen in action in the U-21 European championship, which he won with Spain and Illarramendi found his way into the all-star eleven of the tournament. The Spaniard was an ever present in the Sociedad side last season and shielded the defence – which was statistically one of the best in La Liga.
Arsenal are in the market for a defensive midfielder and Arsene Wenger is said to be highly interested in Illarramendi. But Real Sociedad manager Jagoba Arraste said that, although he isn’t surprised as the 23-year-old being linked with such a big club, he is not up for sale.
“We are not going to pretend that a team that finished fourth and has two players in the Best XI of the Under-21 European Championships is going to have nobody interested in their players. One thing leads to another.
“It is true that we are talking about one of the biggest clubs in the world, both in economic and sporting terms.
“However, we are not going to negotiate for him. He is not for sale. The club has made it clear, and I think the player has too, that we are not going to discuss hypothetical situations.
“This is the same as it was with Loren and Aperribay. Illarramendi has said he is very happy here and I have talked to him about in person and is very excited about the coming season,” he added.
“There is no plan B for us with him and he will be with us for pre-season training on Thursday.
“We want to maintain the main body of the team and add one or two more players to increase the quality.” – Arraste told the press.
Reports suggest that the London club are preparing a €12 million bid for the midfielder, whose current contract at the club runs till 2015. But the Gunners are also likely to face competition from Real Madrid, who are believed to be preparing a bid for him as well.
PSG President dismisses Thiago Silva – Barcelona rumours
Thiago Silva’s future at PSG has been up for speculations this summer. The Brazilian international, who recently won the Confederations Cup, has been heavily linked with Barcelona for the past two seasons. Last summer he was expected to join them, but the defender arrived at Paris, much to everyone’s surprise. Barcelona’s prime target this summer has been to sign Neymar and one center-back, as they strive to improve their shaky defence – they have already achieved their first objective and are now believed to be in the market for a defender with Thiago Silva featuring at the top of the wish-list.
The 28-year-old has recently said that he will consult Zlatan Ibrahimovic before committing his future to the club. The Brazilian has stated that he is unsettled by the fact that Carlo Ancelotti is set to leave PSG (in order to join Real Madrid), the Italian manager was one of the biggest reason behind him signing for the club in the first place. So report suggested that Ancelotti’s departure to Real Madrid could possibly trigger Silva’s exit, along with few other big names.
Earlier Thiago Silva has revealed in an interview that Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova had asked him to join the Spanish side after PSG’s match against Barcelona in the Champions League. Even his agent has also urged Barcelona to make their move if they are interested in the Brazilian defender.
But now PSG president Al Khelaifi has insisted that Thiago Silva is not up for sell and that they are unwilling to listen to any offers for the defender as he an important part of the future plans.
“Thiago Silva is not for sale. He will stay at the club until the end of his contract.
“The problem is not that Barca are not offering us enough money, the problem is we don’t want to negotiate his sale.
“I spoke to him today [Wednesday] to congratulate him on the success he has had with his country in the Confederations Cup, and he told me he was very happy in Paris.
“We won’t evaluate it or contemplate it. We won’t even sit down to negotiate.
“Selling is exactly the opposite of what we want to do. Our intention, after winning the domestic league title, is to fight for other more ambitious goals and make more signings.” – The PSG president was quoted in press.
It is believed that Barcelona have already lined up back options in case the Thiago Silva deal fails to materialize – which looks likely now. The Catalan giants have been linked with David Luiz of Chelsea as well as their old target Mats Hummels.