Manchester City’s interest in Spanish midfielder Isco stretches back half a decade, with the earliest reference being the presence of former boss Roberto Mancini at an Atlético Madrid vs. Málaga game all the way back in October 2012.
Roberto Mancini is in the stands at the Atletico Madrid vs. Malaga game. Possibly watching one or both of Falcao (Atleti) and Isco (Malaga).
— City Watch (@City_Watch) October 7, 2012
City then made Isco a concrete target and a photo of him in the 2008/09 home kit went viral on social media, although no one has ever been able to explain the full meaning behind it.
— City Watch (@City_Watch) December 30, 2012
The arrival of Isco’s mentor at Málaga, Manuel Pellegrini, appeared to put City in pole position and the story goes that he was all but a City player until a call from Zinedine Zidane, who would of course go on to become Real Madrid coach, changed his mind. City fans even had songs ready, but Isco instead joined the Spanish giants in 2013.
Throughout Isco’s stay at the Santiago Bernabéu, he has continued to be linked with a switch to the Etihad, usually because he struggled for starts in the star-filled side. In recent times however, with Zidane now in charge, 25-year-old Isco has become an instrumental figure in Real Madrid’s midfield and has fulfilled his enormous potential.
That still hasn’t stopped the rumours, particularly with his contract starting to wind down recently…
Real Madrid are willing to sell City target Isco for just €12m (£10.3m) this summer to prevent him from joining Barcelona. [@diegotorresro]
— City Watch (@City_Watch) March 23, 2017
However, it now looks like any speculation of Isco to Man City can be put to bed – unless, perhaps, a day comes where Los Blancos no longer feel they need him. Isco has today agreed to renew his Real Madrid contract until 2022, with a €700million release clause included to scare off suitors (except maybe PSG…).
Acto de renovación de @isco_alarcon
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadrid) September 14, 2017
Who knows, the links may surface again some day, but the likelihood is we can put to bed a saga that once seemed almost certain to end with Isco at Manchester City. And with the arrival of Bernardo Silva, a similar player, it may be that City have moved on from their old love interest.