The club would like to keep the attacker, but if the situation continues to deteriorate they will be willing to sell him.
Isco’s situation at Real Madrid is a ticking time bomb at the club and the reigning European champions may be forced to sell the attacker if there is no improvement soon.
The talented attacker has run afoul of Santiago Solari in recent weeks after the manager’s appointment following Julen Lopetegui’s sacking at the end of October.
Part of the problem with Isco is his place in Solari’s system, which is a 4-3-3 that plays more direct than the playmaker is comfortable with. However, Madrid backs Solari in the matter, and believe Isco must adapt and play better if he is to earn more playing time.
This has left Isco feeling disrespected by the club after earlier events. The Spain international underwent surgery in September for appendicitis but came back before he was fully fit at the request of Lopetegui.
Given he has gone from starter to playing just 210 out of a possible 810 minutes under Solari, Isco feels his treatment has been unfair.
In 2017, Isco told Marca, “I’m not stupid, if I’m not a starter with Ancelotti, Benítez and Zidane it’s my fault”. That type of attitude is lacking at the moment as he finds himself irritated with a situation that sees him indispensable for Spain but relegated to the periphery with Madrid.
In addition, the player’s representatives have taken offense to the steady stream of links, colouring public opinion on the matter, including allegations Isco is overweight. That has left the attacker hurt.
Caught in the middle are the Real Madrid players themselves, who respect Solari but also have empathy for their team-mate. Goal understands at least part of the dressing room believes the only solution is to do what is best for the team – to work hard and keep internal issues private.
Real Madrid value Isco as a member of their successful recent history as well as part of their future. However, president Florentino Perez is growing disenchanted with the situation.
A report from TVE’s “Estudio Estadio” program said Isco and his representatives requested a meeting with Perez to voice displeasure over his situation. However, the report said Perez declined the meeting.
Club sources revealed to Goal that Perez and board were angered by a gesture Isco made to the crowd of the Bernabéu. While they downplayed it publicly, privately they believe the gesture was completely unnecessary and that he is attempting to put out the fires of the situation with gasoline.
Thus, while the club want the waters to calm and the player to remain, should Isco push to leave Madrid, they are prepared to let him go, either in January or June. However, they will request he say so publicly.
Isco currently has a €700 million (£630m/$795m) release clause that was inserted into his current contract which he signed in 2017 that ties him to the club until 2022 – a deal which substantially improved his salary after reported interest of rivals Barcelona and multiple Premier League teams.
Should Madrid agree to sell him, Manchester City is believed to be interested in Isco and would hope to use the European champions attempted signing of Brahim Diaz to facilitate a deal. Juventus are also reportedly interested.
Barring an unexpected turn of the situation and radical change of Isco, the future of the former Malaga man at Real Madrid is getting darker. His struggles, his disagreement with Solari and the rudeness to the stands place him in a delicate situation. If there is no reaction and the ‘Isco case’ remains entrenched, the club will not hesitate to put him on the exit ramp as they realize the current situation is a ticking time bomb.