Chelsea and Arsenal are reportedly set to wage battle for Spanish playmaker Isco, who is growing frustrated over his reduced role at Real Madrid
As per a report by The Sun, the list of admirers of out-of-favour Real Madrid playmaker Isco has grown further. Chelsea have already been keeping their eyes on Isco. The Blues have now been joined by Premier League rivals Arsenal, who are also keen on landing the frustrated Spaniard.
Isco continues to blow hot and cold at Real Madrid on multiple fronts. Ever since he made his way to the Santiago Bernabeu, the Spanish playmaker has failed to nail down a regular spot for himself, having performed in bursts while becoming anonymous for periods at a stretch.
So, while he has amassed 254 appearances for Real Madrid, there have been extended periods when he hasn’t started any game, the latest of which has come under Santiago Solari. Isco has not started any of the seven matches that the Argentine has overseen, which has rendered his future uncertain. As a result, a number of clubs, including Chelsea and Arsenal have set their sights on him.
Mateo Kovacic has been a solid addition to the first-team squad at Chelsea, even though he has gone off the boil lately. But, the Croat’s deal does not include an option to buy him permanently from Real Madrid, leaving the Blues scouring the market for possible replacements. Isco has thus, emerged as a viable target.
Arsenal, on the other hand, need to replace Aaron Ramsey, who is set to end his decade-long association with the Gunners some time in the next six months. With the North Londoners refusing to offer a new deal to the Welshman, an enterprising midfielder is the need of the hour.
To that end, Arsenal have been linked with a number of playmakers, with Isco being the latest player to emerge on their radar. They would now hope to beat Chelsea by using his prior relationship with Unai Emery – the Spaniard came through the ranks at Valencia while the Arsenal boss was still in-charge at the club.
The player’s ability to play through the middle and out wide makes him an attractive prospect for both Arsenal and Chelsea. And, with Isco at loggerheads with Santiago Solari, swooping the playmaker away from Real Madrid in the January transfer window might not be a tall order.
Interest is likely to increase in the Spanish international with every game that he fails to start, especially with the 26-year-old entering the best years of his career. It now remains to be seen which of Arsenal and Chelsea prevail in pursuit of Isco, or if some other club ends up landing the Real Madrid playmaker.