United Face City In Battle For Midfielder
Manchester United are being linked with a move for Real Madrid midfielder Isco. However, the chances of him rolling up at Old Trafford are slim.
Reports claim United will battle Manchester City for the signature of the 25-year-old – if Zinedine Zidane allows him to leave. But Zidane’s own future is in doubt as Real look set to surrender their Spanish league title. Elimination from the Champions League by Paris Saint-Germain in their forthcoming round of 16 tie will almost seal Zidane’s fate – if not now then at the end of the season.
Spanish website Don Balon claims that Jose Mourinho wants Isco at Old Trafford next season, but Isco’s own future is in the hands of Real president Florentino Perez. He has always regarded the Spain international as part of the future of the club.
But while Isco has been unable to nail down a permanent spot in the starting eleven his situation has improved this season. He has played in 19 of Real’s 22 La Liga games so far this season – 14 starts and five appearances off the bench. That compares with 18 starts and 12 substitute appearances in 2016-17 when speculation about his future was its height. He has also started five Champions League games this season.
Isco signed a new contract with Real only last September. It should keep him at the club until the end of June 2022.
But while Manchester City are regarded as favourites for his signature, Pep Guardiola looks set to sign Brazilian midfielder Fred from Ukrainian Premier League leaders Shakhtar Donetsk. The two sides were reported at the weekend to have agreed a deal that will see City pay €50million (£44.5million). If that deal goes ahead it is unlikely City will make a move for Isco as well.