Everton could sign their ideal heir to James Rodriguez over the coming months after being linked with a move for Real Madrid midfielder Isco.
The 29-year-old has entered the final year of his current contract with the La Liga giants, meaning a January exit is on the cards.
Deportivo’s report states that there are several sides contemplating making a move for the Spaniard’s services over the winter window, although Everton are leading the race for his signature.
“One that is more likely to do so is the Everton of Rafa Benitez. The Liverpool team, which also just let James Rodríguez go to Qatar, could be reinforced this winter with the figure of the Malaga player as long as the player is satisfied with leaving Real Madrid,” the report reads.
“Especially since his contract ends in 2022 and the option to sell him this coming January is the only one of the scenarios in which Real Madrid would receive some money for the transaction.”
Everton manager Rafa Benitez knows Isco’s qualities well, having worked with the creative talent at Madrid when he was manager of the capital club between 2015 and 2016.
And it’s no wonder the 61-year-old tactician is reportedly keen to bring his compatriot to Merseyside in January. Isco has played a pivotal part in Los Blancos’ success over the last few years, scoring 51 goals and providing 56 assists in 366 appearances for the club.
His impressive exploits helped Real Madrid claim four Champions League crowns, two La Liga titles and one Copa del Rey during his time at the club, earning praise from several impressed onlookers, including former international teammate Andres Iniesta.
“He is a fantastic player, with an incredible talent,” Iniesta told reporters back in 2017. “For many years, he has been doing things very well, and he is playing for one of the best teams in the world.
“He is an important player not just in the national team but in his club. He is young and has many years to grow and improve.”
However, Isco has struggled to live up to his early promise in recent years. After starting just 25 league fixtures since the start of 2019/20, the £16.2m-rated gem appears to be surplus to requirements in Madrid, and Everton could offer him an ideal escape route from his ordeal at present.
Famed for his incredible dribbling ability, eye for a pass and outstanding technical ability, Isco could prove to be the perfect replacement for the recently departed Rodriguez, bringing a sense of imagination back into Benitez’s pragmatic setup.