Power Sport Images/Getty Images
Isco is expected to move to Chelsea this summer as his position at Real Madrid becomes untenable, amid rumours of tension with several teammates, including Cristiano Ronaldo.
A report from Spanish source Diario Gol (h/t Jack Otway of the Daily Express) detailed how Isco and Ronaldo have been at odds, while striker Karim Benzema is also said to have clashed with the former.
Diario Gol now believe the attacking midfielder is “likely to end up at Stamford Bridge,” per Otway.
Isco has been struggling for playing time while Real manager Zinedine Zidane remains faithful to familiar faces. The Frenchman has kept his trust in Casemiro, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos, the same trio at the heart of the team that won the UEFA Champions League in two of the last three seasons.
Manu Fernandez/Associated Press
It’s meant Isco has started just 14 games in La Liga. The 25-year-old has used those starts well, though, scoring five goals and four assists.
Those numbers are a reflection of Isco’s ability as a provider of goals. The Spain international is a classy creator, whose technique and vision can unlock defences from either flank or through the middle. Isco also has a keen eye for goal, being able to finish from distance.
The problem for the former Malaga star is how Real’s squad is stocked with players ahead of him in his best positions. Kroos is another skilled central playmaker who can spot a pass and score goals from outside the box, while Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Lucas Vazquez ensure Real have more than enough match-winners in wide areas.
Chelsea’s squad also doesn’t have natural space for Isco. Eden Hazard, Willian and Pedro are all creative wide forwards, while Cesc Fabregas can split defensive gaps from central areas.
Michael Regan/Getty Images
Yet for all their star power, the Blues may be in need of an overhaul of sorts this summer. Last season’s Premier League champions are fourth, but just one point ahead of London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.
Manager Antonio Conte has been under intense pressure while he’s struggled to direct the club’s transfer policy.
Conte would find use for Isco in his 3-4-2-1 formation, but if the Italian is gone, the new man in charge wouldn’t find it too difficult to build around a versatile schemer who can thrive anywhere along the front.