Isco Alarcon is known as Magia (Magic) in the Real Madrid dressing room for good reason.

Very simply, there’s no one else in the squad that can do the things that the Spanish midfielder can, and, far from being a showman for the sake of it, there’s often an end product where he’s concerned.

Yes, he can bamboozle opposing defences with a ridiculous array of skills, but not if there’s no purpose to it.

The 26-year-old continues to get better and is coming into his peak years as a player.

An adept supplementary attacker for Los Blancos, he brings that little bit of unpredictability which is so hard to defend against. However, it appears that something ‘different’ doesn’t cut it with new Real coach, Santiago Solari.

Since Solari took over from Julen Lopetegui, Isco has had to revert to being the bit-part player he was at times under Zinedine Zidane.

He’s not started a game under the new coach yet, has been given cursory minutes in some matches, and against Roma he wasn’t even on the bench.

Real Madrid's Spanish midfielder Isco looks on during the UEFA Champions League group G football match Viktoria Plzen

Rumours are rife that not making the Champions League squad against the Italians was as a result of refusing Solari’s handshake in training.

Ah yes, training.

It’s long been contended that Isco doesn’t really try hard enough on the pitches at Valdebebas either, which may go some way to explaining why he wasn’t a regular under Zidane or his predecessor, Carlo Ancelotti.

That being the case, it does make Solari’s decisions easier to accept, but in some respects the coach is cutting his nose off to spite his face.

If it’s a door unlocker that you need, someone to penetrate in the tightest of spaces, then Isco is the man. Real have hardly been at their best again this season, but Isco has brought a spark to their play when given the opportunity.

Clearly, a player of his capabilities needs to be playing every week, and whilst it’s accepted that the likes of Luka Modric or Toni Kroos will almost always fill two of the midfield spaces, Solari bringing on 20-year-old Fede Valverde before Isco against Valencia is a real kick in the teeth for the latter.

The fans have already made it plain as to what they think, warmly applauding Isco, and singing his name during the warm ups before matches, but it looks as though this particular situation is only going to end one way.

At this stage of his career he has to be playing, and with Pep Guardiola a known admirer, the pull of moving to Manchester City and joining a team where he will seamlessly fit in, in place of David Silva, is almost too good to refuse.

No official contact has been made as yet, but if the status quo doesn’t change quickly at the Santiago Bernabeu, then expect Isco to be unveiling his magic elsewhere next season.

Isco to sign before 2nd February:




AC Milan 

Manchester City 


Odds are correct at the time of posting

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