The Spanish midfielder was a target for Premier League trio over the summer, but despite claims he could be sold by the European champions he remained in his homeland.
Yet Liverpool, City and Arsenal have not been deterred, and are all considering massive £40m offers when the transfer window opens.
The Sky Blues appear to be in the lead, with Manuel Pellegrini having coached Isco during his breakthrough at Malaga.
The young playmaker started his career at Valencia, but the Chilean manager was in change of at the Anoeta when the silky passer made his first major La Liga impact.
Liverpool wanted Isco on loan during the last window, but with his Reds side struggling Brendan Rodgers is rumoured to be ready to pay big to land a marquee arrival.
Arsenal are also in the battle, but Arsene Wenger’s rumoured £20m January budget may be an issue.