Real Madrid "have no intention" of selling midfielder Isco this month despite interest from a trio of European powerhouses, but Toni Kroos could exit amid rumours he reportedly wants to leave Los Blancos.
According to the Mirror's John Cross, Chelsea, Manchester City and Juventus are all looking to tempt Isco away from the Bernabeu, but La Liga expert Guillem Balague has quashed any suggestion of a winter exit:
Real Madrid have got no intention whatsoever of getting rid of Isco in January— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) January 5, 2016
Real Madrid are in a state of flux after manager Rafa Benitez was sacked as the club's boss on Monday and replaced by former Castilla coach Zinedine Zidane, who could look to shake up the current team.
Isco made nine La Liga starts under Benitez this season, but David Cartlidge of beIN Sports suggested he has more reason than most to be upbeat in the wake of Benitez's departure from the club:
Think Isco should be encouraged by Rafa exit the most. Only needs to see example of Insigne this season. More freedom for creative minds.— David Cartlidge (@davidjaca) January 4, 2016
Manchester City have long been linked with a move for the playmaker, and it was Citizens manager Manuel Pellegrini who brought him to Malaga from Valencia in 2011.
Cross reported that both City and Juventus are interested in a loan deal for the Spain international this month, while Chelsea aren't looking to make a move until the summer transfer window opens.
Isco has been left stranded on Real's bench for the last three league fixtures following Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez's return to full fitness, but it's possible former Galactico Zidane could hand the fan favourite a route back into his plans.
His first-team prospects could also improve after the Daily Mail's Pete Jenson reported Manchester United are looking to sign Bale at the end of this season.
Who should be the higher priority for Real to keep?
Another potential departure at the Bernabeu is that of Kroos, who is a target for former club Bayern Munich, as well as Manchester United and Liverpool, according to Spanish website Fichajes (h/t Daily Star's Luke Gardener).
It's already been confirmed Carlo Ancelotti, who brought Kroos to Madrid in 2014, will replace Pep Guardiola at Bayern this summer, meaning they could reunite at the Allianz Arena at the end of this term.
Kroos spoke fondly of the Italian in an interview with German magazine Der Zeit last month, insisting he and his team-mates were sad when Benitez's predecessor announced his departure (h/t Spanish daily AS):
[Carlo] is a coach who brings together all of the best conditions needed for success: strong tactics and the human factor, which isn’t easy, especially at Real Madrid. When he left all of us were sad – even those who hardly played. I haven’t one single negative word to say about him. He’s the best when it comes to studying opponents, preparing for games and finding solutions.
Manchester United have also been linked to Kroos in the past, while Liverpool chief Jurgen Klopp could look to exploit any German contacts he holds in bringing his compatriot to Anfield.
Like Isco, Kroos' chances could improve now that Zidane has been installed as first-team coach, but the German native appears the more likely departure from Madrid's midfield.