Isco close to agreeing new Real Madrid deal despite links with Barcelona and Manchester City

Eduardo Fernandez-Abascal
Sporting v Real Madrid

Isco has confirmed he is "close" to signing a new deal at Real Madrid following months of speculations linking him with a move away from the Champions League winners. Manchester City, Chesea, Juventus and even Barcelona had been suggested as new homes for the midfielder in recent weeks but the Spain international has now claimed he is ready to commit his long-term future to the Santiago Bernabeu.

Isco, 24, has been a favourite for Los Blancos fans since he joined them from Malaga as a prospect for the future in the summer of 2013.

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However, the Spaniard has failed to established himself as a regular in Zinedine Zidane's 4-3-3 formation due to the presence of Casemiro, Luka Modric and Toni Kroos behind the BBC attacking trident formed by Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo.

In February the player himself suggested he could consider a move away in the summer after admitting his frustration over the situation.

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"I am calm with my future but I am worried about having minutes," he said on 18 February following a win over Espanyol. "A player's career is short, so by the end of the season I will make a decision because it is my future that is at stake."

Just days later Marca claimed the Real Madrid star had already made the decision to leave the Champions League winners at the end of the campaign, with Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola being in pole position to secure his services ahead of Chelsea, Juventus and Barcelona.

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Isco's current deal is set to expire in the summer of 2018 so it was expected that Real Madrid would be prepared to negotiate his departure to prevent him leaving for free at the end of the following campaign.

Catalan radio station Rac 1 reported Barcelona had offered Isco a signing bonus of €20m to turn down a new deal at Real Madrid and move to the Nou Camp as a free agent once his contract expires.

Isco ruled out such a shock move earlier this month, playing down the concerns of the Real Madrid fans after he accidentally posted a picture on Instagram with a packet of Barcelona crisps.

The Spanish midfielder has now suggested he is going nowhere as he is "close" to putting pen to paper on a new long-term deal at Real Madrid.

"We are close. I've always said I want to continue being here for many years to come," Isco said, according to Marca, after making a rare starting appearance in his side's contentious 4-2 win over Bayern Munich.

The former Malaga star previously said he didn't want to continue at Real Madrid as a mere back-up, but now suggests: "The important thing was to get through the tie, not who played. Today I was lucky enough to start the game and I'm very pleased for the team. I work hard to try and help my teammates. I'm always prepared to help whenever the coach sees fit and I'm 100% ready."

The midfielder was replaced in the second part of the game and could return to the bench for the coming El Clasico against Barcelona at the weekend if Bale is passed fit.

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