Santiago Solari Rules out Isco Sale, Says Midfielder Is a ‘Magnificent’ Player | Bleacher Report

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - DECEMBER 19: Isco of Real Madrid during the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2018 Semi Final match between Kashima Antlers and Real Madrid at Sheikh Zayed Sports City Stadium on December 19, 2018 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)

Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

Real Madrid manager Santiago Solari has ruled out the prospect of Isco leaving the club in January, describing the Spain international as a “magnificent footballer.” 

Isco has fallen out of favour since Solari took over from Julen Lopetegui at the Santiago Bernabeu, having failed to make it into the starting XI for any La Liga game during his tenure. 

That marginalisation of the 26-year-old has led to speculation that he may be on the move away from the Spanish capital, although Solari has said he doesn’t see the midfielder going anywhere, per The Independent.

“Every player here has to be committed, dedicated and keep working with hope and excitement; they are all fundamental to us,” said the Madrid boss on Wednesday. “Isco has given us a lot of joy and he has to keep doing that. He’s a magnificent footballer and, now that we have lost Marcos Llorente, Javi Sanchez and Mariano [Diaz], we’re going to need everyone.”

ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - DECEMBER 22:  Santiago Solari, Manager of Real Madrid looks on prior to the FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2018 Final between Al Ain and Real Madrid at the Zayed Sports City Stadium on December 22, 2018 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab

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It was reported by AS in November that both Juventus and Manchester City are interested in signing the player:

Isco has been a key man at Madrid in recent years, with his spellbinding work in midfield and on the wing key to their dominance in the UEFA Champions League. Los Blancos have won the last three titles in succession, as well as four of the last five editions.

Given the way in which Madrid have struggled for guile and incision in the final third this season, it’s a shock the former Malaga man hasn’t been called upon more often. Isco has made just five La Liga starts in 2018-19.

As such, the player’s position has been a big talking point and, as relayed by Dermot Corrigan of ESPN FC, there have been times when Solari appears to have been fed up by questions about the Spaniard:

Still, as long as he continues to be marginalised, intrigue about the future of Isco will remain.

The Madrid playmaker recently offered up a similar line to his manager when asked about a possible move, though. “I’m not thinking about leaving in the winter market,” he said, per Deportes Cuatro (h/t Marca). “I’m very happy. My goal is to win many titles at Real Madrid.”

Despite his struggle for minutes in Madrid, it would be a big shock if Isco was to move on midseason. After all, there are a number of injuries to cope with in attacking berths for Solari, plus the team is in a battle to finish in the top four in La Liga and are still in contention for the Champions League.

If a long-term decision is to be made it seems it will come in the summer when Solari has had the chance to assess his squad and identify possible transfer targets. Should Isco not feature in those plans, there will be a number of elite clubs from across the continent happy to take him off Real’s hands.

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