Manuel Pellegrini’s imminent switch to Manchester City could see the Premier League runners up land one of the hottest properties in European football.
Malaga, the Chilean’s former club, are bracing themselves for bids for prized asset Isco, with a host of elite sides looking to take the playmaker off their hands.
Some reports in Spain suggest that Real Madrid have already won the race for the 21-year-old but, contrary to these claims, several sources are claiming he would prefer to work with Pellegrini for a while longer yet.
There’s also the fact that Los Merengues are likely to offer less game time in comparison to City to consider too, with a host of footballing goliaths competing for advanced midfield berths at the Bernabeu.
After a disappointing campaign by their new-found lofty standards, the Citizens are looking to reinvigorate their attacking options and Isco, along with Uruguayan striker Edinson Cavani, are likely to become Pellegrini’s first acquisitions.
Isco is likely to operate off the lone striker, alongside a triumvirate of attacking midfielders in a style not dissimilar to what Chelsea utilised in the previous season with Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Oscar employed off the front, given license to roam in search of the ball and to carve open space.
A potential stumbling block the move would have to overcome is that the player extended his current contract as recently as January of this year, signalling his intent to stay put.
Whether this was done on the premise that Pellegrini would remain at the Malaga helm or not is purely speculative, but the contract is thought to include a buy-out clause just shy of £30m.
Obviously, cash in no objective for City so, if they’re desperate to land the man capped by Spain at every level from under-16s, they wouldn’t face too much difficulty in surmounting this particular hurdle, granting financially stricken Malaga a princely sum for their star man.
Without any new inclusions, City are 7/5 to beat Chelsea in the first of their two State-side end-of-season friendlies.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date