Arsenal step up chase for Real Madrid’s Isco, £29m deal


Arsenal have been given encouragement in their pursuit of Real Madrid’s Isco, 24.

Spanish newspaper AS claims the attacking midfielder has been transfer listed and will leave the Bernabeu this summer.

It’s been a difficult window for the Spanish giants. Primary target Paul Pogba, 25, is on his way to Manchester United and their strategy of a quick profit on Alvaro 25, to fund the deal, backfired.

Arsenal have been similarly frustrated. Arsene Wenger is desperate to strengthen his attack and defence but gas so far drawn a blank. The Frenchman is keen on Lyon’s Alexandre Lacazette, 25, and is resolute in his valuation of £29m which is far short of the Ligue Un club’s demands.

Meanwhile, the Gunners have yet to lodge bids for Shkodran Mustafi, 24, or Riyad Mahrez, 25, despite strong speculation both are on their way to north London.

Isco though is the first target where the selling club has given genuine – and public – encouragement. Capped thirteen times by Spain, the attacking midfielder is seen as an ideal long-term replacement for compatriot Santi Cazorla, 31.

With Granit Xhaka, 24, arriving earlier in the summer, Isco would give the Arsenal midfield a more youthful flavour. With question marks over 24 year-old Jack Wilshere’s fitness, the pressure on Wenger to hasten the England international’s return to the fold reduces if Isco arrives.


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