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Real Madrid attacking midfielder Isco will reportedly consider a move away if the club signs Eden Hazard from Chelsea. Meanwhile, Manchester United want Los Blancos to part ways with Toni Kroos before they let goalkeeper David De Gea return to the Spanish capital.
Spanish source Diario Gol (h/t Alex Wood of the Daily Star Sunday) reported Isco will “seriously consider his future if the Chelsea ace is snapped up.” The reports also said “Isco, who is yet to sign a new contract at the club, may force an exit.”
Diario Gol‘s report also detailed how a deal for Hazard will be Real’s priority if the club can’t sign striker Kylian Mbappe from AS Monaco. It is far from the first time Los Merengues have been linked with a move for Hazard.
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Earlier this month, another report from Diario Gol (h/t Luke Gardener of the Daily Star) said “Real are ready to give up on Kylian Mbappe and put all their energy into bringing Hazard to the club instead.”
The same reports called manager Zinedine Zidane “a big fan” of Hazard, while also noting how Chelsea could be tempted to sell the Belgium international if it meant Real striker Alvaro Morata going the other way.
It makes sense for Isco to be wary about what Hazard’s potential arrival could mean for his playing time. The former Malaga man already has a hard enough time regularly getting into the starting XI ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale.
Isco benefited from Bale’s injury woes last season and seized his chance to impress. The 25-year-old scored 10 times and registered eight assists, per WhoScored.com, to help Real win La Liga for the first time since the 2011/12 season.
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Having proved his quality, it’s understandable for Isco to resent the idea of another obstacle to the first team being put in his path ahead of the new campaign.
There could be a space off the flanks and further back in central areas if Real let Kroos move to Old Trafford. United want the Germany international as part of any deal to send De Gea to the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, per John Richardson of the Daily Mirror.
Richardson says the demand for Kroos is United boss and former Real manager Jose Mourinho’s way of retaliating to Los Blancos renewing their interest in De Gea.
He described how the Red Devils are prepared to resist the inevitable unless Kroos is involved: “United insiders though believe it’s more a question of when and not if De Gea returns to the city he first graced with Atletico. But United are prepared to play hard ball and would want at least £60 million for De Gea—unless Kroos is included in the negotiations.”
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Kroos’ place at Old Trafford would be secure, since “Mourinho is a big fan of the stylish German, believing the 27-year-old would dovetail neatly with £89 million record buy Paul Pogba.”
There is no doubt Kroos is a talent, but he’s one Real should want to keep. A star at both club level and for Die Mannschaft, Kroos is an astute passer between the lines, as well as a useful source of goals thanks to a powerful shot with both feet.
Kroos is the natural attack-minded schemer at the tip of the most balanced midfield three in Europe. He performs a key role ahead of possession metronome Luka Modric and destructive holding player Casemiro.
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Real may not be ready to give up on De Gea, but Keylor Navas remains a more-than-capable stopper. What Zidane should focus on more is retaining the outfield strength in depth of a squad talented enough to win the UEFA Champions League in three of the last four years.
It should mean keeping Isco and Kroos in prominent roles.