Barcelona are reportedly set to make Real Madrid playmaker Isco a top target in what would undoubtedly be a shock move if completed.
The Spanish international has struggled to establish himself as a regular starter under Zinedine Zidane, and coupled with the fact that he has just 18 months remaining on his contract, it could lead to an exit.
According to Mundo Deportivo, Barca could make a stunning swoop for him as they wait for his contract to continue to run down with a view of making him the successor to Andres Iniesta, who turns 33 in May.
The 24-year-old’s technical quality, versatility and overall characteristics make him an ideal signing for the Catalan giants, and should he complete the switch to the Nou Camp, it would break what is described as an “unwritten pact” between the two Spanish giants over not touching each other’s players.
While Isco wouldn’t receive the same level of hostility that Luis Figo got in 2000 when he swapped Barca for Madrid, it would be a highly controversial move and one that would certainly anger the Real faithful.
Nevertheless, it appears as though there are three options on the table. Isco can either sign a new contract with his current side, leave in the summer in order for Los Blancos to avoid losing him for nothing the following year, or he runs his contract down and leaves on a free.
Madrid will want to avoid the third option at all costs, and will certainly want to avoid seeing Isco leave them for their fiercest rivals.
Injuries have given Isco an opportunity to prove his worth to Zidane with the likes of Toni Kroos and Gareth Bale sidelined, and so it remains to be seen how that affects the situation as it could smooth over contract talks and help the two parties reach an agreement over an extension.