Real Madrid Transfers: Could Isco still leave this winter?

Real Madrid, Isco (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Real Madrid, Isco (Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images) /

Real Madrid attacking midfielder Isco has suddenly risen on the depth chart after Martin Odegaard requested a loan deal and received a move to Arsenal. Now, he is the main attacking midfield option if Zinedine Zidane were to play the diamond, and Fede Valverde is the sole backup midfielder in front of him in the squad.

But before Odegaard’s loan move materialized, Madridistas expected Isco to be the one to make way. Isco has earned just 374 minutes in La Liga, and he has the fewest Champions League minutes played (13).

With so little midfield depth, though, it seems difficult for Isco to get a move, because selling the Andalusian would leave Real Madrid precariously thin in terms of squad depth. Plus, Isco was mired in transfer rumors last winter, yet he did not move. And afterward, he played a key role in the squad, shining against opponents like Barcelona, Valencia, and Osasuna.

According to a report from Marco Ruiz of AS (report in Spanish), Isco remains open to leaving Real Madrid this winter despite space opening up for him to get on the pitch and show both Zinedine Zidane and Luis Enrique that he deserves a significant role.

Could Antonio Blanco impact Isco’s future at Real Madrid?

But Isco also hasn’t been used much by Zidane this season, which may lead him to believe he’d still have a better opportunity to re-establish himself with a new club. Surely, he has taken notice of James Rodriguez’s improved situation under Carlo Ancelotti at Everton.

In his report, Ruiz states that Real Madrid are looking for 40 million euros in exchange for Isco. To that I say to Los Blancos, good luck. It’s hard for me to envision them receiving anything above half that fee right now, but since their depth is so spotty in midfield, Real have little incentive to ask for anything below a rosy valuation. Furthermore, Isco could improve his transfer value for a summer sale, at a time in which Los Blancos could recoup their depth, by playing well in the second half of the campaign.

Finally, there is one more matter to consider when assessing Isco’s likelihood of playing time and the chances of a deal coming together. Antonio Blanco is a highly-talented young player who could get an opportunity with Odegaard in North London. He has more of a long-term future at Real Madrid than Isco, so his presence could impact the Andalusian’s status in 2021.

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It is almost impossible to see Isco leaving Real Madrid in January after Odegaard’s move. The door may be open to an exit, but that doesn’t mean a suitor, willing to meet Real’s inflated asking price, will walk through it.