EXCLUSIVE | By Editor

Arsenal are weighing up a move for Real Madrid midfielder Asier Illarramendi, Football Insider sources understand.

The Gunners have turned their sights to the Spanish midfielder as they address plans to strengthen their central midfield.

Arsene Wenger is considering whether to sign Illarramendi on a season-long loan or in a permanent deal.

Real are willing to listen to offers for Illarramendi, who arrived at the Bernabeu in the summer of 2013 for a fee close to $35m (£25m).

But the final decision on whether to sell the midfield anchorman to Liverpool or keep him for another season will be left to new manager Rafael Benitez.

Illarramendi has been a fringe player at Real over the last two seasons, and struggled for game time even when Luka Modric spent three months of last season out injured.

Arsenal are interested in Illarramendi after pulling out of the race to sign Morgan Schneiderlin and as they prepare to sell Mathieu Flamini.

Galatasaray are keen to buy the Frenchman, who slipped down the pecking order at Emirates Stadium last season following the emergence of Francis Coquelin.

Manager Arsene Wenger has said he will only be pursuing top-class players for the remainder of the transfer window. His only signing to date has been goalkeeper Petr Cech, who joined in an £11million deal from Chelsea.

Football Insider revealed last week that the Gunners are also closely monitoring versatile Bayern Munich star David Alaba.