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Isco set for Pellegrini reunion at Man City

| 17.02.2014

Real Madrid playmaker Isco has been dropped to the bench in his side’s last six La Liga matches – four of them as an unused sub.

The diminutive Spaniard, who cost the club a reported £26m last summer, has found himself out of favour in the second half of this campaign and is being linked with a move to the Premier League, with Manchester City a preferred destination.

Isco is Madrid’s most successful dribbler on a per game basis this season and is fouled more than any other of their players, but yet is still not currently in Carlo Ancelotti plans at present. At this stage in his career he needs first-team football, especially if he is to be included in Spain’s 23-man squad for this year’s World Cup.

Despite being a regular in the early part of the season – starting in all but three of Madrid’s first 18 league matches – and getting six goals and three assists in the process, Ancelotti has recently preferred Angel di Maria in the advanced central position.

The Argentine, who is usually a winger by trade, has seemingly impressed his Italian boss in recent weeks, but it now looks as if that choice has not gone down well in Isco’s camp, which has put the likes of Man City, Tottenham and AC Milan on red alert.

City boss Manuel Pellegrini managed Isco while both were at Malaga, so a reunion is on the cards. Despite the Sky Blues already boasting the likes of David Silva, Samir Nasri and Jesus Navas in the advanced midfield roles, the Chilean knows the 21-year-old well and would be able to find a place for him in his team.

Pellegrini is enjoying a fine season so far with his new club, as they sit just three points off top in the league with a game in hand. City face Sunderland in the League Cup final on March 2nd (odds of 1/6 to win) and beat Chelsea in the FA Cup fifth round. They are also set to face Barcelona in the Champions League on February 18th.

Isco would ideally like to join a side who can promise him trophies, and City now look like a quality stable club who could potentially win at least one in each of the next few seasons.

Spurs were also recently linked with the Madrid man, as Tim Sherwood looks to add much-needed creativity to his side. The north London club splashed the cash on a number of players last summer, but have still found themselves not fulfilling their promise.

The club’s links with Madrid, after selling Gareth Bale to them for a reported world record £85m fee, could also put them in good stead. But with Spurs down in fifth in the league, they will need to break into the top-four to have a chance of getting their man. Tottenham have odds of 2/1 to fulfil that feat.



Sam Barnard

Sam has been writing for Coral since January 2014, and is the assistant editor of the news site. As well as the main betting sports, football, tennis and cricket, he covers the likes of golf, F1 and darts too, the latter of which has become a particular favourite. Sam enjoys playing as much as writing about sports, but niggling injuries have limited his participation in recent years, so is happy to mainly watch the pros such as Manchester United, Yorkshire CCC, Raymond van Barneveld and even Gibraltar national football team instead.