Real Madrid star becomes available, but Arsenal won’t get him

Real Madrid’s Isco has apparently grown tired of playing second fiddle to the plethora of Ballon d’Or candidates sharing his dressing room. He wants out.

According to the morning’s media, that news has got Chelsea, Arsenal and Liverpool slobbering at the idea of signing him.

It won’t happen.

Putting aside the fact that neither Arsenal or Liverpool need another creative midfielder in their no 10-swamped squads for a second. Forgetting too that Chelsea probably should sort out their manager situation before buying anyone. The continued snubs Europe’s best talent deliver to England’s top flight is all the proof you need.

Just last summer the Premier League made six of Europe’s 10 most expensive transfers. Those players were Kevin De Bruyne, Raheem Sterling, Anthony Martial, Christian Benteke, Nicolas Otamendi and Roberto Firmino.

That collection of names, De Bruyne aside perhaps, aren’t exactly the sort you’d expect a competition with the Premier League’s spending might and marketability powers to pull in.

There are links to more glittering stars. Lots of them. But time and again those players pick other European outfits; your Juve’s, PSG’s, Bayern Munich’s and Barcelona’s.

Arturo Vidal, Douglas Costa, Jackson Martinez are just three players that were linked to England this summer, but chose to make other Champions League challengers stronger. Angel Di Maria, of course, left Manchester United to join Paris Saint-Germain.

Of course, the law of averages states that every now and then a big English club lands a fish to match its size; think Sergio Aguero, Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Diego Costa and Cesc Fabregas in the modern day, Andriy Shevchenko, Robinho and Juan Sebastian Veron from further back. It just feels like these arrivals are diminishing in number.

Nowadays the game’s mega stars either baulk at the idea of moving to the Premier League (Karim Benzema practically laughed in Arsenal’s face this summer) or leave it.

Three of the vaunted front six of La Liga’s top two teams once plied their trade on these shores and Di Maria was a World Cup star before Man United made him a laughing stock.

Perhaps the big four’s poor recent record in the Champions League is a factor. Players may not see England’s best clubs as a vehicle for European success and decide to seek it elsewhere.

Isco won’t be the first to do it and he certainly won’t be the last.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.