• Premier League

Pellegrini eyes Isco as first City signing

ESPN staff
May 16, 2013

Malaga midfielder Isco is on Manchester City's shortlist of summer transfer targets, ESPN understands.

The Spain international, 21, has sprung to prominence playing for coach Manuel Pellegrini at La Rosaleda and the Chilean manager is keen to take the playmaker with him to the Etihad Stadium, should he make the switch to the Premier League.

Pellegrini is City's top target to replace the sacked Roberto Mancini as manager and it was reported on Wednesday that Malaga would waive the €4 million release clause in his contract.

The former Real Madrid manager is not expected to be appointed until after the end of the Spanish season and Malaga's campaign concludes against Barcelona on June 1.

Caretaker manager Brian Kidd is set to take charge of City for their post-season tour of the United States, where they face Chelsea in St Louis and New York.

However, City's sporting director Txiki Begiristain has already met Pellegrini and Isco appears to be his first target. The former Valencia player, who has also been linked with Real Madrid, has a €35 million release clause in his contract.

Isco, who signed a new deal with Malaga in January, helped them reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League but their financial problems mean they may have to sell.

City are also interested in Shakhtar Donetsk's Fernandinho as they look to overhaul their midfield.

The Brazil international appealed to Shakhtar earlier this week to sell him for less than his €50 million buyout clause and again suggested he wants to come to England when he took to Twitter to retweet messages from City supporters who urged him to join the FA Cup finalists.

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