With Manuel Pellegrini settling into his first official day as Manchester City manager, he might have expected a more comfortable introduction to the Eastlands hot seat. Unfortunately, the news emanating from Madrid will have been a blow to the Chilean. It now appears almost certain that tyro Spaniard midfield player Isco, will turn his back on his mentor from former club Malaga, and opt instead for a move to Real Madrid.
It had seemed that Isco was bound for a move to Manchester City, but rumours repeated in ‘Marca’ – so often the semi-official voice of the Spanish club – suggested that Madrid were briefing very stridently that the player was joining them. It now appears that their confidence was not misplaced. Although these things are always surrounded by myth and legend, it appears that Madrid President Florentino Perez was convinced by Zinedine Zidane to pursue the youngster with the required vigour.
The former French international’s stock is high with the club at the moment. As well as being the standard bearer for the pursuit of Tottenham’s Gareth Bale, it is thought that he was the driving force behind securing young French centre back Raphael Varane. The 20 year old was purchased from Lens for a bargain fee thought to be in the region of £8.5million, and is currently keeping former stalwart Pepe, on the bench.
A call from Zizou to Isco during the European Under 21 championships is thought to have had a major bearing on the player’s decision to join Madird. Spanish football expert Gragham Hunter’s tweets earlier today confirmed as much.
City are putting a brave face on the situation, with Pellegrini apparently unconcerned by the failure to secure Isco. Whilst clearly he would have been an asset to the squad, with a midfield already boasting Silva, Toure, Nasri, Milner, plus new signings Fernandinho and Navas, the manager is hardly bereft of options.