Real Madrid playmaker Isco looks set to remain at the Santiago Bernabeu despite interest from the likes of Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain, as he told reporters he is "close" to a new deal, per Marca.
The Spain international was speaking after his side's 4-2 victory over Bayern Munich in the Champions League quarter-final on Tuesday, in which he played the first 71 minutes.
Doubts had been cast over the 24-year-old's future after another difficult campaign in Madrid, with Isco having started just 15 La Liga matches in the 2016-17 season. However, he has started three of the last five Real games in all competitions and scored twice on Saturday as Zinedine Zidane's team beat Sporting Gijon 3-2 to maintain their three-point lead at the top of the table.
Isco, whose deal is due to expire in 2018, reaffirmed his desire to remain at Real in an interview on Saturday.
"I want to stay a long time, many years, and I hope I do. I have always been clear on this," he said, per AS (h/t ESPN's Dermot Corrigan):
B/R Football @brfootball
Isco has no intention leaving "the best team in the world" https://t.co/KU3dJQr0Sh4/16/2017, 11:34:57 AM
But rumours of his departure have continued regardless. PSG are interested in Isco's services, per L'Equipe (h/t Andrew Gibney for Football Whispers, via Sky Sports), and Chelsea are also keen, per Marc Williams for the Daily Star.
A direct quote from Isco in the aftermath of the Bayern match, clearly stating that a new contract is moving closer, could put an end to reports of a transfer away from the Bernabeu.
Another man unlikely to be leaving any time soon is manager Zidane, who will reportedly remain at the club even if they end the season without a trophy, per Jose Felix Diaz for Marca.
Zidane has enjoyed a spectacular start to his managerial career, winning the Champions League in 2016 and keeping Real on top of La Liga for the majority of the 2016-17 campaign.
His side's triumph over Bayern on Tuesday ensured their safe passage to the semi-finals of Europe's elite competition, which is a new record:
7 - Real Madrid are the first team in #UCL history to reach the semis in seven seasons in a row. King. https://t.co/vgFeIZSB774/18/2017, 9:26:21 PM
With Zidane reportedly staying on, Isco will know it is the Real boss he must impress over the coming months as the Spaniard bids to finally become a consistent member of the first 11.