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Would Manchester City prefer El Shaarawy or Isco?

Manchester City are linked with two of Europe’s most exciting prospects this summer as they await confirmation of who will take the reigns at the Etihad.

The dismissal of Roberto Mancini leaves an open position which numerous sources have reportedly will likely be filled my Malaga coach Manuel Pellegrini.

His prize protégé in Malaga is none other than Isco – the most highly-rated attacker of his generation and the jewel of the Spain U21 team. I have discussed previously Isco’s suitability for Manchester City who have already confirmed the signing of Shakhtar Donetsk midfielder Fernandinho.

The Citizens have also reportedly agreed terms with super-fast winger Jesus Navas of Sevilla, whilst reports in Italy suggest that AC Milan forward Stephan El Shaarawy is next in line on City’s shopping list this summer.

As I reportedly earlier this week, there seems to be a peculiar transfer saga developing for the 20-year-old striker who netted 19 goals for Milan this term in all competitions. Subsequently, his value has skyrocketed and it would appear the club wouldn’t mind capitalizing on his fine form by allowing him to be sold to the highest bidder.

The potential value of the transfer has been widely quoted as €40 million which, incidentally, is around the same figure City would likely have to stump to lure Isco to the Premier League.

The 21-year-old attacking midfielder has a release clause in his contract with Malaga for €35 million but he’d surely be worth every penny if City secured his services. His versatility, his ability to play as an attacking midfielder, winger or second striker is an attractive prospect, along with his exceptional technique, control, and skill.

His vision and range of passing is already at the highest level – he combines flair and creativity with an outstanding work-rate and exemplary attitude and he could be just the breath of fresh air City need after what was ultimately a disappointing season this term.

The issue would of course be where he would fit into the team – if indeed Navas joins Fernandinho in the squad next term, the new boss would have the likes of David Silva, Samir Nasri, Javi Garcia James Milner, Jack Rodwell, Gareth Barry, Yaya Toure, and the new additions to choose from in midfield, attacking midfield and wide positions.

Isco could definitely be deployed as an alternative to either Silva or Nasri but the abundance of competition for his preferred position may deter him from making the move to the Etihad.

Meanwhile, City look increasingly likely to sell Carlos Tevez, whilst Edin Dzeko is linked with a move to the Bundesliga and Mario Balotelli’s return to Italy leaves ample space in the squad for another forward.

El Shaarawy could potentially walk into the line-up to replace one of the aforementioned frontmen whilst the same may not be possible for Isco in attacking midfield.

For around the same price, pound for pound, Isco would be a far more astute acquisition – especially if Pellegrini does in fact take the reigns as the young Spaniard has described his Malaga mentor as his ‘footballing father’.

If, for example, Nasri is sold this summer, Isco chances of regular first-team football would dramatically increase but should Navas arrive, it’s hard to see Isco gaining a position on the flank ahead of his elder compatriot and obviously Silva is always going to be one of the first names on the team-sheet, whoever’s in charge.

image: © strollers

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