Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane wants Isco at the club “for life”. The 25-year-old Spanish international plied his trade for Malaga before joining Real Madrid. His excellent performances at La Rosaleda Stadium earned him a transfer to Santiago Bernabeu where he has become one of the modern-day Galacticos.
However, the fight in the middle of the park at Real Madrid is getting intense and leaves no space for an under-performing player. Real Madrid already has a host of midfield talent in their squad in the form of Marco Asensio, Isco, Luka Modric, Dani Ceballos, Toni Kroos, Casemiro and Mateo Kovacic who can all play through the centre. However, with Modric at the dusk of his career and Ceballos unable to settle in, Isco is set to become a vital member at the Bernabeu over the years.
Although primarily a creative midfielder, Isco’s ability to play as a makeshift winger makes him an asset in the Real Madrid line-up. His composure on the ball is well complimented with his excellent range of passing. Isco’s ability makes him an absolutely key member at Santiago Bernabeu and it is highly unlikely he will leave the club. This would make it tough for Manchester United, who are reportedly interested in his services, to land Isco. Hence these are three other players Jose Mourinho can be looking at.
Javier Pastore, the Argentine midfielder joined Paris Saint-Germain on August 6, 2011, at the tender age of 22. The technically gifted playmaker can play in several positions. His tall, slender build complemented by his work-rate allows him to operate as a winger or a deep-lying midfielder depending on the team’s requirement. The creative midfielder has a knack for not only creating but also scoring goals for club and country.
Pastore, who has gone on to make over 150 appearances at Paris, has failed to cement a regular starting place in his 6-year tenure at the club due to some unfortunate recurring injuries. The 28-year old will has found it tough to regain a regular starting spot with the likes of Rabiot, Motta and Verratti orchestrating the PSG midfield making United a possibility for him.
The highly rated Ligue 1 star is single-handedly leading a young Olympique Lyonnais squad through the current campaign with 20 goals and 5 assists in 30 appearances in all competitions. An astounding tally for a player who plays from the midfield.
Club president Jean-Michel Aulas has expressed his views deeming the 24-year-old to be more influential to the club than Paris Saint-Germain’s Brazilian superstar, Neymar. Blessed with a terrific left foot, Fekir can play the number ten role and lead the attacking lineup on a consistent basis and can be a good target for United to consider.
French sensation Thomas Lemar broke into the big stage of football after a fantastic last season at Monaco. The left-footed attacking midfielder, who can also play as a winger, scored 13 goals and created 14 more in 52 appearances last season. The French winger who was a star player in the free-flowing Monaco team last year created 106 chances alone for the Ligue 1 champions. He will be an ideal replacement for Isco given his small stature and incredible pace to run at defences.