REAL MADRID

Five factors that could motivate Isco to move on

Isco's future is up in the air after the player stalled contract talks with Real Madrid over uncertainty about his place in the team. Here are five reasons why he may look to go elsewhere.

As revealed by AS on Thursday, Isco has decided to shelve Real Madrid contract talks until June as he wants assurances over his future at the club. There is plenty of reason to feel uncertain, and here are just five motives which might spur the midfielder to move on in the summer…

Continuity 

Consistency, and in this case the lack of it, is one of the major factors against Isco. His detractors amongst the Merengue faithful point to this recurrently. The problem is that, whether due to errors or the high level of competition in the squad, the Malagan is having trouble to string together a decent run of matches, a necessity for a player of his style. Without this continuity, Isco is much less Isco.

Out of position 

For a few seasons now, Real Madrid have practically done away with the central attacking midfield role that Isco thrives in most. This hasn’t exactly been planned, as signings show, but is just the way things have turned out. As it is with natural selection, he who adapts, survives, and ultimately enjoys more time in a team where no one is untouchable. Isco has struggled to modify his game, a barrier that he’s finding hard to overcome in order to show his best qualities – talent we’ve seen only in fits and starts, such as in the Madrid derby earlier this season. That night, when he employed his preferred role in a man-of-the-match performance, Zidane admitted: "Yes, that's where he plays best."

Lack of a starring role

It is nothing new to play at a Madrid where you are obliged to stay in the shadow of the side’s biggest stars (the BBC), but there are no shortage of examples of players who left in their pursuit of a more predominant role: Özil, Higuain, Di María. Isco could be the next.

World Cup 2018

There is still a lot of football left to play before Russia 2018, but the risk of not being picked weighs heavily. There are exceptions, but what happens in the year leading up to the big event tends to determine your chances of participation. Nevertheless, Isco has something in his favour: Lopetegui is one of its great admirers. Even so, uncertainty remains as to whether Isco would be short of the minutes required to make the Spain squad if things continue as they are.

Tempting offers

Isco's attractive style means he is not without suitors across Europe, especially in the Premier League and Serie A. The 25-year old’s future will not be determined by money alone, but logically his decision will be influenced by what’s on offer: it could be difficult to say no to a powerful team (Juve haven’t forgotten him) that offer a guaranteed starring role and a succulent contract.