Manchester City are close to making their third signing of the summer with Malaga’s Isco reportedly ready to follow Manuel Pellegrini to the Etihad.
City hope to announce Pellegrini as their new manager over the weekend, and it seems his first signing will be his former midfielder, who is keen to leave Malaga for Champions League football.
Uefa have banned Malaga from both the Champions League and Europa League due to their failure to adhere to the financial fair play regulations, which Isco labelled “embarrassing and shabby”.
On his personal Twitter account, the Spanish Under-21 star said: “It is embarrassing and shabby. It is completely unfair that they have treated Malaga different than many other teams with many more irregularities and debts.
“They have taken away what we have earned on the field. Neither the players nor the fans deserve this. I have no more to say.”
The 21-year-old developed an attacking role last season, scoring 12 goals from midfield, and he is currently with Spain’s Under-21’s at the European Championships in Israel where he finished a delightfully taken effort in the comfortable win over Holland.
Should the deal go through, Isco will join new recruits Jesus Navas – signed from fellow La Liga club Sevilla – and Fernandinho, who has joined City in a £30m transfer from Shaktar Donetsk.
Isco’s fellow countryman Navas cost the Manchester club a further £14.9m, and the addition of the Malaga playmaker would rocket City’s increasing summer spending as they look to cope with life after Roberto Mancini.
Real Madrid – another club without a current manager – were also keen on the talented youngster’s signature, but City seem to have leaped ahead of the Spanish giants in the race for his services.
Liverpool had been linked with the midfielder but the allure of Champions League football has taken the Spaniard away from Brendan Rodgers grasp and into the hands of City. This is no doubt helped by the influence of former Barcelona directors Txiki Begiristain and Ferran Soriano, who have led the club into a change of direction in terms of recruitment.
Isco would join a long list of former La Liga stars now at Eastlands with Pablo Zabaleta, Yaya Toure, David Silva and Navas all joining from the Spanish top flight.