After six seasons at Real Madrid, Isco is currently going through his worst period at the club, and there are several indications he could bow out next summer.
Isco’s career in Real Madrid could be in its final stages. He has become an out-of-favour substitute since the arrival of Santiago Solari, and his controversial gesture towards a section of the Bernabéu crowd after a foiled Madrid attack against CSKA has put him further into the firing line with fans. After six seasons in the white of Madrid, the Malaga man is currently going through his worst period at the club, and there are several indications that point to his possible departure this summer. Here AS takes a look at five reasons why the Spanish midfielder could leave next summer.
Distance from Solari and the stands
Isco started the season as an indisputable starter for Julen Lopetegui. However, the sacking of the Basque coach and the subsequent arrival of Solari has provoked a radical change in his situation at the club. Since the change a coach, Isco has only featured in 292 minutes – or 29.5 percent – of the total 990 minutes played under Solari. And as his distance from the head coach has grown, so too has his distance with the fans in the stands. The Spaniard has always been one of the players that had the most chemistry with the Bernabéu faithful, but his gesture during the CSKA game towards the hardened supporters in the north end has put a strain on this relationship – so much so that a large segment of those Madridistas in the north end would not be against selling him.
Distance from the dressing room heavyweights
Isco has a good relationship with his colleagues in the dressing room, aside from two important exceptions: Marcelo and Sergio Ramos. The latest evidence of the tension between him and Marcelo was his refusal to take the captain’s armband from the Brazilian when the he was being taken off for Dani Carvajal during the CSKA match. Although later Carvajal explained that Isco had previously agreed to give him the armband if the circumstance arose. Nevertheless his refusal to accept the armband will have further intensified his malaise at Madrid and his poor standing amongst some fans at the Bernabéu. Ramos does not have a good relationship with Isco either. And instead of backing his team mate during his current difficult period, Ramos has recently leaked information about a supposed private insult made by Isco towards Solari. Interestingly, Marcelo and Ramos have the same agent, René Ramos, the brother of the Spain and Madrid captain whom Isco rejected some months ago.
Hazard and James
Other factors that could lead to Isco’s exit next summer are the likely arrival of Eden Hazard and the possible return of James Rodriguez. Hazard’s dream is to play for Madrid and he has long been a desired target for Florentino Pérez. His arrival at the Bernabéu would no doubt complicate Isco’s situation even further – as would the return of James, on whom Bayern are seemingly not planning to execute the option to buy.
Manchester City interest
Isco arrived in Madrid in the summer of 2013 after rejecting an offer from Manchester City. And in light of his current situation at Madrid, the English club has reignited their interest in bringing the Spaniard to the Etihad Stadium. His representatives are already aware that Guardiola sees him as a priority signing for next season; and Isco also understands that the City’s style of play under Guardiola is better suited to him than the one that Solari has implemented at Madrid.
His sale would bring a significant financial boost
Madrid will need to strengthen several positions next season, so they will also need to generate significant financial resources by selling some players seen as expendable. In this sense, Isco is one of the players whose sale would bring in big money for the Bernabéu coffers. Madrid would not sell him for anything less than 100 million euros, meaning he could even surpass Ronaldo to become the most expensive sale in the club's history.