Real Madrid have completed the signing of Spanish under-21 international Asier Illarramendi after agreeing to meet Real Sociedad’s reported £34m buy-out clause for the midfielder.
The midfielder is expected to remain with the Los Blancos till 2019 and will undergo medical in the next few days.
The 23-year-old, who has been likened to Xabi Alonso, could become a long-term replacement for the former Liverpool midfielder at the Santiago Bernabeu.
“I came to conclusion that it was an offer I couldn’t refuse. It’s a unique opportunity,” Illarramendi said.
“It hasn’t been easy decision; it has been very difficult for me because Real Sociedad have given me so much.”
Illarramendi, who played every game in Spain’s European Youth Championship winning side, came through the youth ranks at Sociedad, and helped the club secure a Champions League slot last season by finishing fourth in the La Liga.
He is Carlo Ancelotti’s fourth signing of the summer, following the recruitment of Isco (Malaga), Dani Carvajal (Bayern Leverkusen) and Casemiro (loan deal from Sao Paulo).