Man City to launch summer bid for Isco
PELLEGRINI INTENT ON BRINGING ISCO TO MANCHESTER
Manchester City’s failure to sign Spanish starlet Isco in the summer has almost been forgotten amid an avalanche of goals but the Real Madrid playmaker remains very much on the Premier League club’s radar.
Alvaro Negredo has been an unqualified success since signing from Sevilla, while the continued excellence of David Silva and Sergio Aguero, allied to Samir Nasri’s improvement, has seen City amass over 100 goals in all competitions this season.
Still, however, manager Manuel Pellegrini remains frustrated at the failure to secure the services of a player whose career he helped develop during the time they spent together at Malaga.
After an electric start to his career with the Spanish giants, Isco has found regular starting opportunities hard to come by and has started four of his side’s last five games from the substitutes’ bench.
Carlo Ancelotti has struggled to accommodate Isco in his 4-3-3 formation and there is increasing talk that the player and Madrid are ready to part company if the situation does not improve with City closely monitoring the situation.
Isco had originally agreed to join up again with his former manager in the summer but City refused to get involved in a bidding war with Real Madrid or pay significant agent fees.
Madrid paid €30 million for Isco and might be prepared to do business with City, although Pellegrini's side will not entertain any approach for Aguero or Silva.
SHEIKH MANSOUR TO ATTEND BARCELONA CLASH
It is a measure of the significance of Manchester City’s Champions League heavyweight clash with Barcelona that the club’s owner Sheikh Mansour could be in attendance at the Etihad on Wednesday.
The Abu Dhabi royal family member is a busy politician across the wider Emirates and has been to see his £1 billion investment only once since he took over the club back in September 2008, to watch City beat Liverpool 3-0 at the Etihad in 2010.
But a private Royal charter, carrying family members and friends from the region, is scheduled to land in Manchester on the day of the game.
Security is tight-lipped and City will only discover a few hours before if Mansour will be able to make the trip.
The billionaire has not missed a single game since he took control, having City games beamed live to wherever he is in the world.