Soccer-Real Madrid lure midfielder Illarramendi from Sociedad

MADRID, July 12 (Reuters) – Real Madrid have agreed to buy Spain Under-21 midfielder Asier Illarramendi out of his contract with their La Liga rivals Real Sociedad, Sociedad president Jokin Aperribay said on Friday.

Real, who also confirmed the deal, had deposited the 23-year-old’s buyout fee of 38 million euros ($49.6 million) with Spain’s professional league (LFP), Aperribay told a news conference.

Illarramendi is seen as a long-term replacement for Xabi Alonso, another former Sociedad player who will be 32 in November, and he will also compete for a place with Germany’s Sami Khedira and Croatia’s Luka Modric.

He has agreed a six-year contract and will be presented at the Bernabeu stadium on Saturday after undergoing a medical, Real said on their website ( ($1 = 0.7668 euros) (Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Justin Palmer)

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