Porto keen on loan deal for Real Madrid's Asier Illarramendi

Illarramendi made his name with Real Sociedad. (©GettyImages)

Reports in Spain suggest Real Madrid man Asier Illarramendi could be about to leave the club after just one season at the Bernabeu.

Spanish newspaper Marca have linked the former Real Sociedad man with a loan move to Portuguese giants Porto, who are currently managed by Julien Lopetegui.

A long-time coach of Spain's junior sides, Lopetegui is familiar with Illarramendi's abilities, having selected him for the European Under 21 Champions in 2013, which Spain won.

Having just lost the services of regular defensive midfielder Fernando, who has just completed a move to Premier League champions Manchester City, Porto are on the lookout for a replacement.

According to reports in A Bola, the club are be keen on Illarramendi, but a permanent deal is unlikely considering Carlo Ancelotti paid a fee in the region of €32million for his services just last summer.

However, despite the hefty price tag the 24-year-old has struggled to earn a place in a midfield that can rely upon Xabi Alonso and Luka Modric, and as a result a temporary switch could be on the cards.

With the Spanish national team having looked out of sorts during the World Cup, culminating in a group stage elimination after a 5-1 humiliation at the hands of the Netherlands, a place in the national team could be up for grabs, though first team football is a must should Illarrmendi stake a claim.

Any possible loan switch is likely to benefit all parties. Firstly, Porto get a direct replacement for the departed Fernando without having to break the bank.

Secondly, the player himself will be able to develop his game playing regular football for a team who expect to challenge for the league title at the very least, while Real Madrid will be able to see how he copes with the demands of an expectant crowd.

Following a dismal third-placed finish last time out, Porto will hope to reclaim their crown in the coming season and add to the 23 league titles they've previously won.

With Lopetegui now in charge it's no surprise to see the club linked with young Spanish talent, and should Illarramendi arrive in north Portugal he's unlikely to be the last to make the move from Spain.

One of those already linked with a move is Atletico Madrid starlet Oliver Torres who has reportedly already agreed a season-long switch to Estadio do Dragao, having ended last season at Villarreal.

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