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Real Madrid midfielder Isco has reportedly turned down the chance to move to Juventus, as he wants to extend his stay at the Santiago Bernabeu.
According to AS (h/t Football Espana), both the Bianconeri and AC Milan are keen on the Spain international, who has found starts tough to come by in the Spanish capital. However, the former Malaga man is said to want to extend his contract with his current employers.
Fichajes.net (h/t calciomercato.com) has suggested Juventus are willing to pay around €40 million (£34 million) for Isco. Here is a look at what he’s capable of at his very best:
Under Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane, Isco has continued to be a peripheral figure with Real, while the emergence of Marco Asensio has made competition even tougher in the midfield spots for Los Blancos' stars.
Isco is supremely skilled and versatile, meaning he can feature in a host of different roles at the club. That should be enough to ensure he gets minutes on the field throughout the campaign, although someone of his immense talent surely should be starting matches week after week.
That’s unlikely to happen with so much attacking talent in the Madrid squad. According to Ed Malyon of the Daily Mirror, Zidane has been far from impressed with the playmaker’s attitude, too:
AS saying Isco for sale. Has been the case since May, with Zidane shocked by his poor attitude in training.
Has the talent to thrive in PL
Having sold Paul Pogba to Manchester United this summer in a world-record transfer deal, Juventus do have the financial clout to pursue someone like Isco.
For the midfielder, it’d be a superb opportunity. In Turin, he’d be a regular starter in a side that’s equipped to challenge on both the domestic and European front. That, in turn, would aid in Isco having a better chance of featuring for the national side in months to come. Sure, it’d be galling to leave Real, but another season on the fringes would be a disaster for the 24-year-old.
James Rodriguez Linked with Liverpool
Trond Tandberg/Getty Images
According to Mundo Deportivo (h/t Joe Short of the Daily Express), Liverpool have asked Real Madrid for their valuation of playmaker James Rodriguez.
It’s suggested that both Chelsea and the Reds have made their interest known in the Colombia international, as have Arsenal, Milan and Paris Saint-Germain. However, Liverpool will reportedly not meet the valuation placed on the player by club president Florentino Perez.
The Colombian can purr at the creative hub of a team when given license to roam, find space on the field and get after defenders in a variety of ways. Here are some of the standout moments from Rodriguez after his move from Monaco in the summer of 2014:
Rodriguez, like Isco, has found it difficult to cement his status as a regular starter under the guidance of manager Zidane. The only two players he tends to hand attacking freedom to are Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale; Rodriguez’s unwillingness to put in hard work off the ball means he doesn’t feature in the biggest games.
When he is on the field, the 24-year-old is a menace to defenders, per WhoScored.com:
James Rodríguez: Made a key pass more regularly (1 every 25.3 minutes) than any other player in La Liga last season (5+ starts)— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) August 21, 2016
He could become a massive asset at a host of elite clubs across the continent, including any side in the Premier League. Given Zidane’s reluctance to use the playmaker in the biggest games, a sizeable offer will surely pave the way for a Rodriguez sale.