Manchester City set to lose out to Real Madrid in race to sign Isco

Manuel Pellegrini's first official day as Manchester City manager ended in disappointment with Isco set to reject the chance to join his former Málaga coach and sign for Real Madrid.

City are relaxed about the midfielder's decision, which has yet to become official, after the 21-year-old said that Madrid "excite".

Pellegrini is also unconcerned that the prospect of landing Napoli's Edinson Cavani is receding. City have kept watch on the striker after he was identified as a target by Roberto Mancini but Pellegrini does not hold the Uruguayan in the same regard.

If Isco is signed by Madrid, Pellegrini is content with the resources at his disposal, which include Yaya Touré, David Silva, Jesus Navas, Fernandinho, Samir Nasri and James Milner.

City's plan to play 4-3-3 as their main formation next season puts in further context their content with the current midfield and attacking personnel. As Carlos Tevez and Sergio Agüero, the forwards, can play anywhere across the attacking line, the need to bring in Isco and Cavani is not being viewed as vital.

Pellegrini spoke for the first time about Navas and Fernandinho. He told "Jesus is a player I know well from La Liga. He is quick, has excellent technique and City fans will enjoy watching him. He will provide a variety of attacking options for us and can also score goals as well as create them."

Of the Brazilian, Pellegrini said: "I made Fernandinho one of the top priorities. He has impressed me on a number of occasions over the past few years and is another player I've taken a keen interest in. He is an experienced international who will further strengthen our midfield and I think he will be well suited to the Premier League. He is a superb athlete with a wide range of passing, can score goals and most importantly, can quickly turn defence into attack.

"I am looking forward to working with both our new signings and with the players who have already won a Premier League title together. We have a very strong pool and together we aim to achieve great things."

The future of Joleon Lescott remains in the balance, though with Kolo Touré having departed for Liverpool the central defender could yet remain at City.

Powered by article was written by Jamie Jackson, for The Guardian on Monday 24th June 2013 15.50 Europe/London © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


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