With the current season drawing to a close there has been much speculation over player ins and outs in recent days. Málaga Club de Fútbol have been no exception in this circumstance with their star player, Isco, having been linked with two clubs. His Manager, Manuel Pellegrini, has also been linked with a move away from the Costa del Sol side and it could be all change for the club nicknamed the Boquerones.
Isco is one of the hottest properties in European football and his Golden Boy award, the Under 21 equivalent of the Ballon D’Or, this year came as no surprise following his performances for Málaga over the past few seasons.
The youngster from Benalmadena, a small town just down the coast road from Málaga, had been the centre of speculation over a summer move to the Bundesliga to join Pep Guardiola at newly crowned German champions Bayern Munich. However, with the announcement of the signing of Mario Götze from Borussia Dortmund last week this move now looks unlikely.
Two serious contenders for Isco’s signature have emerged with reports that Manchester City and AS Monaco have begun talks with the player’s lawyer and Father and approached Málaga with a view to opening negotiations over a proposed summer transfer.
Manchester City are believed to be offering Isco a 4 year contract that would treble the value of his current salary with Málaga. The ink is still wet on his recent renewal, but a fee of €35 million would release the player from this agreement.
Another draw for Isco to Manchester City would be their interest in signing his current coach, Manuel Pellegrini, to replace Roberto Mancini. The player’s agent, Jesús Martínez, is alleged to have met City Director Txiki Begiristain in a Madrid restaurant and with José Mourinho likely to be returning to Chelsea and Málaga still facing a one year ban from European competitions, a move to the City of Manchester could be on for the Chilean.
Another suitor for Isco’s signature are AS Monaco of France. The side from the Principality are virtually assured of promotion back to the top flight after having suffered the ignominy of a spell in the wilderness of the second tier of French football.
Their multi-millionaire Russian owner, Dmitry Rybolovlev, is amongst the World’s 100 richest people according to Forbes. With their wealthy backer, Monaco wish to put together a side capble of challenging for a Champions League place and will embark on a spending spree in the mould of Paris Saint-Germain to achieve this objective.
Similarly with City, contact has been made with the player’s lawyer and Father and they are aware of the interest from France and await a formal offer to Málaga.
With the Costa del Sol side still uncertain of their participation in European competiton next season, an appeal against the one year ban is pending, although Málaga did comply with the last deadline in accordance with the Financial Fair play rules and will not have the ban extended, there is still uncertainty over the future of many players at the club.
With 5 games to go it would appear that Real Sociedad have the 4th place to lose. Real and Atlético Madrid would appear to have automatic Champions League places guaranteed, allowing the 7th placed club access to the Europa League. Málaga are 7 points ahead (8 if you consider the goal average) of 8th placed Rayo Vallecano, but will the prospect of competing in the continent’s second tier be enough to convince Isco that his future remains tied to the club that has propelled him into the collective consciousness of Europe’s elite.