Manchester City told they must spend big to land Spanish starlet

In the worst example of faux posturing since Eyal Berkovic whispered hold me back following his infamous fallout with John Hartson, the Express reports that Malaga vice-president Moayad Shatat has claimed that the club don’t “necessarily” need to sell star player Isco.

The Spanish club, who have been banned from Europe and are purportedly on the cusp of financial implosion aren’t really in the position to be trying to play poker face.

Real Madrid and Manchester City are said to be battling it out for the signature of the talented playmaker and there seems little chance of him remaining with the southern Spanish team.

The 21-year-old was in sparkling form, scoring three goals during his country’s recent successful defence of the UEFA European Under-21 title.

Originally it was expected that he would follow former Malaga boss Manuel Pellegrini to the Etihad but with Madrid now entering the race the youngster is said to be torn between his two options.

The least likely scenario is that he will stay with Malaga but Shatat is adamant that this is still a possibility: “We don’t need to let Isco go cheaply. If it’s not enough, we’re not going to sell him.”

The figure being quoted is £30m and while that amount won’t daunt either Madrid or City both are likely to try and drive it down given Malaga’s precarious situation.

If the Manchester side are successful in their chase it will be fascinating to see how Pellegrini’s team will line up next season.

With David Silva and now Jesus Navas already in the squad, the Spanish influence is sure to be prevalent in their attacking play.  

While you would imagine that someone like Samir Nasri could technically still have a part to play, even if it may not be as a guaranteed starter, you would have to wonder whether the likes of James Milner and Scott Sinclair will soon be deemed surplus to requirements.


Allen Whyte


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