Manchester City are ready to step up their pursuit of Spanish wonderkid Isco and hope the imminent appointment of the midfielder’s former Malaga manager Manuel Pellegrini will help to speed the process along.
A report in today’s Sun suggests that the Etihad club are confident they can wrap up the £17m transfer by the weekend.
Competition from Real Madrid
The 21-year-old is one of the hottest prospects in Spain. He has scored 14 goals in 68 games for Malaga in La Liga and helped them to two top six finishes. Earlier this year he broke into the Spanish senior national team, making his debut in a 3-1 win over Uruguay.
City will face stiff competition from Real Madrid for Isco’s signature. However, with Real seemingly preoccupied with unsettling Gareth Bale and Luis Suarez, it is likely that City will win the race.
The fact that they will soon be able to offer the player the chance to reunite with the boss who helped him make his name will also work in their favour. Isco calls Pellegrini his ‘footballing father’ and would be happy to follow the Chilean to the Etihad but only if he could play regular first team football next season.
City have a wealth of midfield talent
That could pose a problem as City have a wealth of talent at their disposal in midfield. Yaya Toure and David Silva will not be prepared to drop to the bench while new signings Jesus Navas and Ferdinandinho will want plenty of playing time to prove themselves.
The likes of James Milner and Javi Garcia will also need to play to give balance to the midfield. It could spell the end for Gareth Barry and Samir Nasri. In 83 games for the club, Nasri has only shown fleeting glimpses of the talent that convinced City to pay Arsenal £25m for his services.
Barry could leave for Tottenham
Barry has been a fine servant for City during his four years at the club. However, at the age of 32, they may wish to cash in on him to make room for younger singings. Tottenham are interested in bringing the England midfielder to White Hart Lane and would be willing to bid around £4m according to the Daily Express.
Meanwhile, the Guardian report that City are still in the hunt for Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani. However, if Real Madrid trigger the Napoli star’s £53.6m buy-out clause they are unlikely to enter into a bidding war.