Manchester City have reportedly ramped up their interest in Malaga midfielder Isco and have now made the 20-year-old the club's primary target for the January transfer window.
Citizens boss Roberto Mancini had flown to Spain to attend Malaga's match against Atletico Madrid last week and it was widely assumed that the Italian was there to scout Atletico striker Radamel Falcao, who has been intensively linked with a move to the Premier League. However, it is now understood that Isco has been the interest of Mancini's visit.
The Premier League champions, who have enough world-class strikers in their ranks, have now made the Malaga playmaker their No1 January target, ahead of forwards Falcao and Stevan Jovetic, and are willing to match the player's £16.9m release-clause, according to Goal.com.
The report also claims that City midfielder David Silva - Isco's compatriot and senior from the Valencia academy - is highly appreciative of the youngster and has recommended his name to the City scouting staff. Malaga sporting director, Mario Armando Husillos, has voiced his concerns over the Isco's release-clause and revealed that it is out of the club's hands if a suitor agrees to meet the clause.
"Isco is our player and is a very important member of the team. He's not for sale. We want to keep him here, but everyone knows that players have a release clause. So, if a club meets this clause, it will be out of our hands," the report quoted Husilos as saying.
Meanwhile, City's summer signing Jack Rodwell insists that he is enjoying his time with his new club and is confident that his £15m move from Everton to the Premier League champions will do his future a world of good. Former Citizens star Adam Johnson had recently accused the club of wasting young talent but Rodwell claims that he is facing no such problems since his arrival.
"I'm young and English. I've not got a bad word to say about City. If they want you and sign you, then they have got intent for you. I was not guaranteed a starting place at Everton. I had a lot of injuries, Darron Gibson and Marouane Fellaini were in form, so it was a push for me to get in that side. But when the champions come knocking, it's hard to refuse," The Sun quoted Rodwell as saying.