Leicester lean towards January deal for creative talent linked with Everton

Date published: Saturday 9th October 2021 9:51 - Samuel Bannister

Leicester City are ready to rival Everton in the race to sign out-of-favour Real Madrid playmaker Isco, according to reports in Spain.

Isco was once an important player for Madrid, but his star has faded in recent years. He failed to score at all across 29 appearances last season, and only netted one La Liga goal the year before. His fortunes have shown little sign of improving despite the return of his former coach Carlo Ancelotti.

Ancelotti was in his first spell as Madrid manager when they signed Isco from Malaga in 2013. He scored 11 goals in all competitions in his debut year, a tally he has since matched once but never surpassed.

Since their reunion in the summer, Ancelotti has not given Isco as much gametime. The attacking midfielder has only started two of their opening eight La Liga games, although he has managed to score once already.

But with a contract expiring at the end of the season, Isco could be on his way out. Madrid may even prefer to sell him in January so they can recoup a fee for a player they originally paid €30m for.

Isco has already been linked with a move to the Premier League to reunite with another of his former managers. There has been speculation of a transfer to Everton, where he would link up with Rafa Benitez once more.

Benitez was in charge of Los Blancos for part of Isco’s third season in the Spanish capital. After the departure of another ex-Real star in James Rodriguez, the Everton boss may be looking for some more creativity.

There has thus been increasing confidence that Everton could do a deal for the 29-year-old in January. But according to Fichajes, they may not have a clear path at his signing.

The Spanish website claims Leicester are also in contention to sign Isco as they too seek more creativity.

After finishing fifth in each of the last two seasons – and being unlucky to miss out on the Champions League places each time – Leicester have made a mixed start to the new season. They only have two wins from their first seven league games.

There is plenty of time for them to turn around their form into something more recognisable from recent years. But if things are still behind schedule in January, they may go into the transfer market.

Depending on Madrid’s demands, Isco could be available as a shrewd signing. The report claims Leicester could take him permanently or even on loan with a view to a permanent deal.

Isco, Real Madrid midfielder, pink kit

With little time left on his contract, Real would likely prefer to monetise his sale. Hence, Leicester – and Everton – will be waiting to discover their asking price and decide whether it is worth it.

Real Madrid eyeing Leicester star

The update comes shortly after news of a potential transfer in the opposite direction for one of Brendan Rodgers’ key men.

El Nacional recently reported that Ancelotti wants Real Madrid to sign Youri Tielemans from Leicester.

Tielemans was a major signing for Leicester when they beat some big competition to get him in 2019. Now, those big clubs are hovering again.

The midfielder is yet to make a decision about his future, but knows he has plenty of admirers elsewhere. It seems Madrid are one of them.

Ancelotti is looking for a long-term successor to Casemiro at the base of their midfield and Tielemans could be his man.

Whether any potential deal may give the Foxes an advantage for Isco, though, remains to be seen.

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