Asier Illarramendi wanted by Real Sociedad's Bergara and Martinez

Real Sociedad's Markel Bergara and Inigo Martinez both say they would be delighted if former teammate Asier Illarramendi returns to the Basque club from Real Madrid.

Illarramendi, 25, moved from La Real to Madrid in a deal worth €38.8 million two summers ago. However, the midfielder has never really settled at the club and now looks unlikely to feature in the plans of new coach Rafa Benitez, especially after the €30m signing of Mateo Kovacic.

AS says a deal is being put together for the player to go back to the San Sebastian-based outfit for an initial fee of around €10m, plus €5m in variables.

The Basque press have claimed that many of Europe's top clubs are also interested, with Juventus, Liverpool, Tottenham and Inter Milan all considering entering the fight for Illarramendi's signature.

Current Txuri-urdin midfielder Bergara said in AS that he had already been exchanging messages with his former teammate to persuade him to come back home to Anoeta.

"I hope it finally comes true, I consider him a friend, and I hope he comes, because those who were La Real fans as kids will give everything for this jersey," Bergara said. "Of course we have been sending him messages, there are always jokes and teasing, because we are friends. I hope he is here with us soon."

La Real defender Martinez, who came up through the ranks at the club alongside Illarramendi, told a news conference after training on Monday that a return would be an important boost for the team.

"You cannot doubt Illarra's quality," he said. "He is a player all teams would like to have, above all ourselves. With Asier at Real Sociedad, the team would change a lot, he would be very good for us."

Txuri-urdin coach David Moyes, speaking ahead of Saturday's afternoon's 0-0 draw at Deportivo La Coruna, was less clear on his views over a possible return for Illarramendi.

"If a midfielder who we believe can help were available, I am sure that the president would be interested, but I am happy with the midfielders we have," Moyes told a news conference.

"There is competition for places in all positions, and that means whoever is here must play very well to get a place. As Illarramendi has been here, you know more about him than me, but I am sure he is a great player."

At that news conference, Moyes also suggested he did not play a huge role in transfer business, after a summer which saw former Elche centre-forward Jonathas brought in, along with loan deals for winger Bruma and centre-back Diego Reyes.

"This team is designed by the club, following the club's philosophy and that of the coach," Moyes said. "That means that many of the decisions are made by the club, and not the coach. For me as a coach the only signing made for the future was Jonathas, as the others are two loan deals."