Isco has made it clear to Real Madrid chiefs he wants to leave the Bernabeu in January amid speculation linking him with Arsenal.
Several reports have linked the 28-year-old with a move away from the Spanish capital in recent months; the speculation has chiefly arisen over a verbal attack on Zinedine Zidane over game time.
As such, Everton have reportedly shown interest in the past, although Toffees boss Carlo Ancelotti has dismissed such talk.
Either way, Madrid were reportedly waiting for Arsenal – for whom Isco was a previous target – to rekindle their interest and create a bidding war.
And while Everton’s interest looks immaterial, reports on Friday claimed the Gunners were poised to make a January move.
Now it seems that Arsenal’s hopes of landing the Spanish playmaker have increased. That’s after AS detailed several factors that have seen the Spaniard tell Los Blancos he now wants out.
The main reason, of course, remains around Isco’s lack of playing time. He has been used increasingly sparingly by Zidane, with his minutes dwindling. Furthermore, when he has been afforded chances, it’s often been in an slightly unnatural wide role.
In addition, Isco knows he will need to secure regular football if he has any chance of making Spain’s Euro 2020 squad. He has not featured for La Roja since June 2019, with Luis Enrique’s side looking strong in his absence.
And finally, it’s reported that strained relations with Zidane suggest the writing could be on the wall for Isco. The player’s public criticism of his coach has, reportedly, not gone down well with the Real hierarchy.
“If he starts me, he takes me off in the 50th or 60th minute, and if he brings me on, I come on in the 80th,” he said recently.
Whatever decision is made, AS are convinced that Isco will change clubs in January.
They claim Real hope to find a club willing to cover his reported £130,000 a week wages. A loan deal with an obligation to buy could be ratified by Los Blancos. The Spanish champions are looking to free up funds for big summer, with Kylian Mbappe among those in their sights.
Arteta has Willian conversation
Mikel Arteta, meanwhile, would not reveal if Willian would be in the squad for Sunday’s Premier League trip to Leeds – but did stress that there were other factors to be considered.
“We had a conversation and I explained what I was expecting,” Arteta said.
“There are a lot of personal factors at the moment and as well from our side we need to be in their shoes.
“A lot of players are having different issues, like any public person out there, and sometimes they make decisions based on the needs or the moment or what people are expecting from them.
“Whether they are right or wrong, after obviously it is a thing we have to discuss. But, again, it has been dealt in the right way and let’s move on.”