Spanish international star Isco has ended the speculation surrounding his potential move, signing with Real Madrid.
UPDATE: Thursday, June 27, at 7:15 a.m. ET by Brandon Galvin
Real Madrid confirmed the signing of Isco:
The Real Madrid and Malaga CF have reached an agreement for the transfer of the player Francisco Roman Alarcon Isco, to be bound to the club the next five seasons.On Wednesday July 3 medical examination and will be presented at the Bernabeu.
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Rumours of Isco’s future destination began swirling well before the decision, with Real Madrid and Manchester City being the top suitors for his services. CNN Italian sports correspondent Tancredi Palmeri first broke the news:
JUST IN: Real Madrid signed Isco. Florentino Perez: "We have the agreement, he will be unveiled next week"— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) June 26, 2013
Tancredi is also reporting that Real Madrid have paid €27 million for the Spanish international.
Isco has been signed for 27m €— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) June 26, 2013
Signing Isco away from Malaga only serves to broaden the gap between superpowers Real Madrid and Barcelona and the rest of La Liga. While Malaga obviously would have loved to retain the budding superstar as he continues developing his game, Isco was wise to focus on the best course of action for his career—in this case, a move to a club with tremendous talent to put around him.
But Isco’s decision to join Real Madrid instead of Manchester City was particularly surprising given his link to manager Manuel Pellegrini. And it's all the more damaging considering City's recent failed attempts to acquire stars on the transfer market.
While Isco had a difficult decision to make, his time away to consider his options had to be an anxious period for the Manchester City boss. As quoted by Jamie Jackson of The Guardian, Isco wanted to take a vacation to decide his future:
He is a great coach who has done some impressive work at Málaga, as he did at other clubs, and I am sure things will go well for him [in England]. It's true that I know Pellegrini already, I know how he works and he has been fundamental in my career during the two years I have been at Málaga with him. It's a point in favor that we worked together and that I know how he works but it's not definitive. I am going to take a holiday [after the Euro Under-21 championships], which I need, and then decide my future.
Isco’s arrival is likely to quell rumours of a Gareth Bale move to the Spanish side as well. With the midfielder locked up to a contract, Real Madrid are no longer in search of that building block at the position.
With incredible quickness, instincts and football intelligence, Isco is more than just a building block, however—he’s also a well-rounded footballer who can facilitate an attack just as well as he can finish. Given the price to acquire him, Real Madrid got a tremendous bargain for a player capable of doing special things.
At 21, Isco has already proved he can be a force at any level. Considering the talent on the club he is joining, there’s no limit to what he can do at Real Madrid.