Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini has fuelled transfer speculation by admitting that he has a great level of “affection” for Real Madrid midfielder Isco.
The silky playmaker played under the Chilean boss while at Malaga before joining the European champions in 2013.
Arsenal have recently been linked with a £64m move to beat City, and a host of other Premier League sides including Liverpool and Chelsea to the 22-year-old, who has not been a guaranteed starter at Real since his arrival.
Although Isco has recently played a more vital role in Carlo Ancelotti’s plans, talk of a move has not gone away, and Pellegrini has confessed that he’s an admirer of the young pass-master:
“I have great affection for him,” he is quoted by Goal.
“I was lucky enough to guide him during his passage to La Liga. He has to continue progressing because of his youth and because of the quality he has.
“He chose Real Madrid as his destination and I am happy each time that I see him.”
Isco has made 16 La Liga appearances this season, six as a substitute, notching two goals and five assists in the process.
As an attacking midfielder, he is in direct competition with the likes of Gareth Bale, Cristiano Ronaldo and James Rodriguez for a starting berth.