Chelsea and Manchester City set to be denied in their pursuit of Isco

Despite reports that the Blues had agreed a fee with Malaga for the 20 year old playmaker, Isco looks likely to stay in Spain until the end of the season.

Whilst some might find it hard to understand why Chelsea would be interested in signing another attacking midfielder, it’s not difficult to see why Isco would be top of their list if they did. The young star has been incredibly impressive for his side this season, especially in the Champions League where Malaga topped their group in qualifying for the knockout stages.

There had been some reports that Chelsea had agreed a £15 million fee for the player, but these always seemed unlikely given Malaga’s previous insistence they would hold out for his minimum fee release clause of £17.5 million. Even if Chelsea, or indeed Manchester City, were to meet that fee there is little incentive for Isco to make the move this winter.

The club is still in the poor financial situation that led to Santi Cazorla’s exit in the summer, but on the pitch they are in great shape. They sit fourth in La Liga and the prospect of an evenly matched Champions League tie against Porto on the horizon. The incentive for Isco to stay is clear, as he is the integral part of that side, and will be playing Champions League football.

At Chelsea or Manchester City he would have to wait until at least next year to play in the knockout stages of the Champions League, and would spend the second half of the season trying to break into teams with established stars in his position, something especially true of Chelsea.

If he delays until the summer, Isco will not only most likely have his big of Europe’s elite, he will also have a full summer to settle at the side before starting competitive football. For all his talent, Isco is still only 20 years old, and to make such a big move in January would surely be very difficult.

All in all, unless Malaga’s finances are even worse than they are letting on, there is no incentive for them or Isco to complete a transfer at the moment. Chelsea and Manchester City will no doubt be interested come the summer, when it seems almost certain Isco will be on the move, but a January move is likely off the table.

image: © peacecup

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