Italian football journalist Fabrizio Romano revealed on his ‘Here We Go‘ podcast recently that Manchester City were extremely close to signing Isco in 2018 but they could not find an agreement with Real Madrid.
As per Man City Xtra on Twitter, the Spanish playmaker had agreed terms with the Citizens but they couldn’t negotiate a fee with Los Blancos, who were demanding €90 million (£80.3 million) for the midfielder.
Considering the 28-year-old’s downturn in form in recent seasons, Guardiola will surely be delighted that the club didn’t shell out what would have been an enormous fee plus hefty wages for the Spanish international, as he currently earns £210k per week at Madrid.
So far this season, the former Malaga man has been extremely disappointing, having averaged a 6.32 rating across his seven appearances in La Liga, with no goals or assists to his name (per WhoScored).
Isco’s market valuation has truly plummeted in recent years, with Transfermarkt currently valuing him at £18 million, whilst he was valued at £81 million just two years ago, suggesting that Real Madrid weren’t far off with their valuation but that City were right not to pay it.
When he was linked with a move to Barcelona back in 2017, his international teammate at the time, Andres Iniesta, was full of praise for the attacking-midfielder, saying:
“He is a fantastic player, with an incredible talent.
“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.” (per FotMob)
To be so highly-rated by one of the best midfielders to ever play the game certainly suggests that Isco was an extremely talented player, so it is surprising that his career seems to have fallen off a cliff somewhat in recent seasons.
He has also endured his fair share of injury problems in recent seasons with the La Liga giants, suggesting that he would’ve struggled with the physicality of the Premier League had he joined back in 2018.
Therefore, City will surely be glad they didn’t splash the cash on Isco back in 2018 and they now have the immensely talented Phil Foden establishing himself as a key member of Guardiola’s squad, which may not have happened had Isco joined two years ago.