Arsenal have reportedly emerged as one of the frontrunners to complete the signing of Real Madrid midfielder Isco in the January transfer window.
According to a report from Catalunya Radio, Real Madrid outcast Isco is set to sever ties with the Spanish capital club in the upcoming January transfer window, with Arsenal and Sevilla emerging as the best-placed clubs to sign him up.
Isco signed for Real Madrid way back in 2013 from fellow Spanish club Malaga. Widely regarded as one of the best up and coming young playmakers at the time, the attacking midfielder made a positive start to life at the Santiago Bernabeu and tasted a lot of success with the club while being a regular fixture in the side.
However, over the past three seasons, Isco has found it impossible to establish himself as a regular in the starting XI at the Spanish capital outfit. His appearances have been decreasing with each passing season, with the 29-year-old starting just two games across all competitions in the ongoing campaign.
Isco’s contract with Real Madrid runs out at the end of the season, at which point he was widely expected to leave. However, as per the report mentioned above, he might not have to wait until the summer to secure an exit as clubs are lining up to sign him in the January transfer window itself. It further states that, as things stand, Arsenal and Sevilla are leading the chase for the 29-year-old’s signing.
Arsenal have done a fair amount of business with Real Madrid in recent seasons. The Gunners had brought in Dani Ceballos on loan for two back-to-back seasons while they signed Martin Odegaard on a temporary deal this past January before making his transfer permanent in the summer transfer window.
But their interest in Isco does come as a bit puzzling, especially when Odegaard himself has not been playing regularly. Indeed, Mikel Arteta has tweaked his system somewhat to play Alexandre Lacazette just off the main striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe operating on the flanks.
Even if Lacazette is unavailable, Arteta can count on Smith Rowe and Odegaard to slot in as the creative playmaker while having options such as Gabriel Martinelli and Nicolas Pepe to utilise out wide. Even though there have been murmurs of Arsenal wanting to sell Pepe, making a move for Isco in January does not really make sense as he does not fit the profile of players that the club have targeted of late.
However, a move to Sevilla could work out for the Spaniard where he could add some more guile and creativity to a midfield that has been dependent on an ageing Ivan Rakitic. So, while the report says that Arsenal are among the best-placed clubs to land Isco, one should take this speculation with a pinch of salt.