Amidst the chaos surrounding Chelsea Football Club after ‘interim’ manager Rafael Benitez’s rant on the fans and board alike, Spanish sensation Isco is being lined up by Blues owner, Roman Abramovich, as his number one transfer target for the summer.
Chelsea are already planning for life without Rafa Benitez, whose departure seems inevitable following his ill-advised rant, by lining up a huge bid in order to tempt Malaga to sell their most prized asset.
But the question to be asked is whether Isco is needed in a star-studded midfield for Chelsea. Could this be a case of “Too many cooks spoil the broth?” Chelsea have a plethora of young talent at their disposal including the likes of Mata, Hazard, Oscar, Moses and Marin. One person missing from the ‘young’ list is Frank Lampard, who at 34 years of age is reportedly, and to many people’s amazement, not going to be offered an extension on his current deal and is set to depart Stamford Bridge in the summer.
Isco may be brought in to replace the outbound Lampard, but filling the England international’s boots won’t be so easy. Lampard has been in fine form this season scoring 11 premier goals in 19 appearance and is 1 shy of scoring a landmark 200 goals for the club. But Isco is a bright young talent in his own right. He won last season’s Breakthrough player of the year and is being eyed by many top clubs across Europe. He is seen as the next big thing after Messi and Ronaldo and a move away from Malaga seems imminent.
Having a midfield of Mata, Hazard and Isco supporting the main striker certainly seems formidable and may very well be possible despite the uncertainty surrounding the post of the Chelsea manager. Abramovich is known to recruit top players without consulting the manager and is keen on bringing the Spanish maestro to the Bridge, irrespective of his decision on the managerial post in the summer.
The 20-year-old was recommended to Abramovich by his right hand man, Michael Emenalo, and a bid was expected in January which did not materialise. Isco has since then signed a new contract with the Spanish club with a buy-out clause rumoured to be in the region of £35 million.
However, Malaga have been banned from Champions League football for a year by UEFA for their failure to settle unpaid bills and will be willing to listen to offers for Isco that meet their valuation of the player. Even Isco admitted he might leave to help the cash-strapped club financially by saying, “I am ready to sacrifice myself for the good of the club. I would have no problem in accepting an offer to help Malaga to recover.”