Chelsea Ready to Seal Deal for Malaga Ace Isco

John BainesCorrespondent IJanuary 7, 2013

Is Isco en route to Stamford Bridge?
Is Isco en route to Stamford Bridge?David Ramos/Getty Images

Chelsea look set to beat off a host of top European clubs for the signature of highly rated Malaga playmaker Isco.

According to reports in the Daily Mail, the Blues plan to meet the 20-year-old's €21 million buyout clause and will bring the Spanish starlet to Stamford Bridge in the summer.

The Chelsea hierarchy are keen to re-shape their squad, and with Frank Lampard set to leave at the end of the season, Isco has been identified as the type of talent required to recharge a Premier League title challenge.

The former Valencia trainee has attracted a host of interest since joining Los Boquerones at the beginning of the 2011/12 season, helping the Andalusian outfit to fourth position in La Liga last year and qualification for the Champions League.

Isco's individual performances have seen him earn the La Liga Breakthrough Player of the Year award for 2012 as well as the European Golden Boy award.

Already this season, the attacking midfielder has scored six goals in all competitions and was instrumental in helping his side through to the knockout stages of the Champions League in the first attempt.

Isco scored twice in a 3-0 home win over Zenit St Petersburg in Malaga's first Champions League group game and also opened the scoring in a 3-2 win over Real Madrid in December.

Vicente del Bosque has selected the Malaga man in past Spain squads, but Isco has yet to make his senior debut although he has been a regular for the country's Under–21's—scoring six times in 11 appearances.

It was thought that the likes of Manchester City, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Juventus were all admirers, but Chelsea look to have acted quickly to acquire the services of the much sought-after youngster.