If Liverpool fans have come to accept their club being linked randomly with players from across the planet, they certainly are not showing it.

The latest player on the carousel of transfer rumours is Real Madrid playmaker Isco, who reports in Spain claim has been made surplus to requirements by manager Zinedine Zidane.

But how has he come to be linked with a move to Liverpool. Stay with us on this one, because it is about to get tricky.

Spanish television show El Chiringuito first reported Zidane's desire to offload Isco. The Frenchman is said to be frustrated with Isco's contribution this season – he has scored seven goals and made six assists in 31 appearances for the Bernabeu club – and duly wants him offloaded.

In September, Isco signed a new contract until 2022 with AS claiming his annual salary had risen to €6m-a-year and his release clause to a staggering €700m. However, it appears just four months later Zidane is done with the Spain international.

AS initially reported the story from Spanish TV and moved it on by suggesting five clubs which Isco could join. Along with Manchester City, Juventus, Bayern Munich and Arsenal is the name of Liverpool.

Numerous publications have since taken that speculative editorial to mean that Liverpool are indeed interested in Isco and that a move could happen imminently, as the void left by Philippe Coutinho's move to Barcelona becomes increasingly large.

The story has been fuelled further by leading bookmakers Coral having since slashed odds on Isco completing the move to Anfield, despite there being little to back up any claim that the five-time European champions are even remotely interested.

"When we opened betting Manchester United were favourites to sign Isco but we've seen a big gamble in the last 24 hours and it's clear that punters think Liverpool will be making a move for him this summer," said Coral's Harry Aitkenhead, according to The Express.

Don Balon, the journalistic equivalent of a bag of chips, did suggest towards the end of the January transfer window that Liverpool were keen but such a claim is to be treated with scepticism.

However, with the everyday football fan a sucker for transfer news and the prospect of a big-money signing, Liverpool fans have tucked into this tale like a self-righteous vegan laying siege on a local butcher.

Few are more enthusiastic than Awais al Ghul, who writes on Twitter: "Liverpool need to poach one of Isco or Asensio from Real Madrid this summer. Madrid look set to go on a mad spending spree and they gonna need to offload some players to help move things along. Either player would be perfect in our current setup."

Some fans however are sceptical over whether owners Fenway Sports Group have the gumption, or even the funds, to conclude what would be a sensational deal.

Nathan Shaw-Langhorn and Michael Ebuwa are among them, with the latter claiming that a move for free-scoring Lyon midfielder Nabil Fekir might be more realistic.

"Would love nothing more than to sign Isco in the summer! Cant see FSG parting with enough money to get him though," Shaw-Langhorn stated.

Fellow-fan Ebuwa added: "In as much as I like Isco i believe it will be very difficult to sign him from real Madrid, the player I would like us to have that can bring lots of goals and assists to the team in midfield is NABIL FEKIR."

Having seen Luiz Suarez and Coutinho leave for warmer climes at Barcelona and Mohamed Salah already being forced to reject links with Real Madrid barely a season into his spell on Merseyside, Liverpool fans have good reason to be concerned that any big-name arrival could be followed by a swift exit.

Devesh has joined that group, saying: "Not even interested in this Isco news. Zero chance he'll sign for us. And if he does, he'll obviously turn out to be a baller and will fuck off back to Madrid in two years max. "

The final word deservedly goes to Josh Hawkins, who is yearning, wishing and even dreaming of life with Isco in the red of Liverpool. If Real's president Florentino Perez is reading – and he surely, surely is – then Mr Hawkins deserves your undivided attention.

"Insigne aside; this would literally be my dream signing for Liverpool," he said. "I sadly doubt it would happen but this wouldn't be just a replacement for Coutinho - it would be an upgrade too, IMO."

Isco
Isco has scored seven goals this season - but that is not good enough for Zinedine Zidane. Getty Images