Real Madrid's summer began with Isco, but it's not going to end with him.
The club confirmed the purchase of the 21-year-old midfielder on its official website. It's only the first move in what promises to be an active transfer window for the Spanish giants.
Real Madrid generally approach every summer with the intent of making one or two big purchases. That desire is only going to increase with a new manager and after a season in which Madrid finished second to Barcelona in La Liga.
Los Blancos don't have an unlimited supply of cash, though. In order to fund some more moves, they'll likely have to unload some first-team players, especially after the transfer of Isco.
Here are three updates on some players rumored to be leaving Real Madrid.
Cristiano Ronaldo Not Going Anywhere
Until Cristiano Ronaldo signs a new deal with the club, speculation regarding his departure from the Santiago Bernabeu will never cease.
In terms of Ronaldo's commitment to Madrid, Florentino Perez remains unwavering.
He spoke with Spanish national radio, per ESPN.co.uk, saying, "He has two years of contract left. He is happier every day here. He has no wish to leave Real Madrid and wants to end his career here. He wants to go into history as someone very important at Real Madrid."
At this point, it seems unlikely that Ronaldo is going to leave Madrid, and the sooner this saga gets resolved, the better.
It's getting a bit tiring reading the day-by-day updates of the situation between the player and club, and his possible move to Manchester United, especially when there's nothing new being reported.
The arrival of Carlo Ancelotti should be a boost to Real Madrid's hopes of re-signing Ronaldo as well. Ancelotti's personality is in stark contrast to that of Jose Mourinho, and the 54-year-old Italian should bring much more stability to the club.
Pepe Targeted by Manchester City
Even considering everything Pepe brings on the pitch, there is likely a strong band of Real Madrid supporters who would rather see his departure. He's never built a reputation for himself as a very clean player, often resorting to some nasty tactics on the pitch.
There's no doubting his talent. Pepe is a very good defender. He's good enough to get the attention of Manchester City, at least. The Daily Mirror's Darren Lewis reported City could be interested in making a bid for the 30-year-old centre-back:
Manuel Pellegrini is ready to make a move for Real Madrid’s fiery defender Pepe as he tweaks Manchester City's squad.
New City manager Pellegrini is a big admirer of the talented but controversial centre-half, whom he managed during his time at Real.
Deposed Premier League champions City believe the 30-year-old Portugal international would form a formidable centre-half partnership with their skipper, Vincent Kompany.
Seeing Pepe linked to a move away from Madrid isn't all that surprising. He's not a player who's considered untouchable, and Ancelotti might want to make his own imprint on the back four by shifting in some new blood.
City being the possible destination is a bit quizzical.
The club already has Vincent Kompany, who's one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League. Manchester City also have talented youngster Matija Nastasic. Only 20 years old, Nastasic had a very good debut season in England. He made his fair share of mistakes, but you'd expect him to continue growing and improving next year.
Gonzalo Higuain Waiting on Agreement Between Clubs
At this point, Gonzalo Higuain's transfer to Arsenal seems like a sure thing. It's only a matter of time before the move is confirmed by both clubs. Juan Castro of Marca reported that the stumbling block is the fee Madrid will recoup for the striker:
Higuaín is putting the finishing touches to his part of the deal with Arsenal, and is waiting for the two clubs to reach an agreement. 'El Pipita' is optimistic, although he isn't popping the champagne just yet, as he had previously agreed terms with Juventus, only for the Italian club's offer to be deemed insufficient by the higher-ups at the Bernabéu.
As Juve has recently signed Carlos Tévez, it is unlikely that the deal is still on, and moreover the London club looks capable of offering more than the 'Vecchia Signora', who couldn't go beyond €30 million. Wenger's club is closer to what 'Los Blancos' are after, and can also offer more attractive payment conditions.
It would be a huge shock for Higuain to stay at Madrid through the summer. His relationship with the club has appeared to become untenable. You can't get this close to selling a player without actually selling him.
Arsenal have been rather frugal in the past, but they seem to be turning over a new leaf this summer. The Gunners have always had the kind of money to fund massive transfers. They've just never decided to actually spend the money.
With new sponsorship deals, the club is getting the impetus to buy better, more experienced transfers. This move could take a little while still, but there's no doubt it will get done before the window closes.
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