Real Madrid will be placing James and Isco in the shop window come the summer. The club has marked both players out and is ready to listen to offers and sell them if the price is right. The president is unhappy with their performance levels and the fact that Zidane’s arrival hasn’t coaxed an improvement from either means that Los Blancos are now prepared to let them go.
All that said, each case is different. There is growing sense of discontent regarding the severity of James’ drop off in form compared with last season. He barely had a preseason, picking up an injury at the beginning of September and remaining sidelined until 8 November, and famously he didn’t get on with Rafa Benítez. Zidane’s appointment promised to bring a new dawn, but the Colombian is still yet to capture his old form. Additionally, his request for a pay rise in his second season in the Spanish capital has not gone down well with the suits upstairs, especially given how his on-the-pitch showings have been way off the 80 million euros Transfermarkt continues to value him at. There are a lot of interested parties for the Cafetero number 10 in the Premier League: Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City are paying close attention to the 24-year-old’s situation.
Isco’s situation is different. The Malaga native’s performances over the past month have not impressed the club. There is a belief that he hasn’t made the most of the confidence Zidane has shown in him: he started ten of the Frenchman’s 13 matches in charge. However, frustration has escalated in recent games because of his public outbursts. Firstly he barely celebrated the goal against Levante after coming off the bench and then lost his temper when he was taken off against Las Palmas (petulantly throwing his shinpads and jacket to the floor from inside the dugout).
Isco joined Madrid in the summer of 2013 for 30 million euros and, according to Transfermarkt, his value has since increased to 45 million euros.
Juventus are the keenest trackers of the Andalusian’s progress. Calciomercato claims the Serie A side have asked Álvaro Morata to entice his old team-mate and close friend to Turin. But Manchester City tried to buy him in 2013 and now, with Pep Guardiola about to take over from Manuel Pellegrini, who knows, maybe a new bid will make its way down from the Etihad...