• Premier League

Malaga stress Isco will cost City or Real £30m

ESPN staff
June 19, 2013

Malaga executive vice-president Moayad Shatat has suggested star man Isco will not be sold for anything less than the €35 million (£29.97m) release clause in his contract.

Isco, 21, is widely expected to leave in the summer, with his impressive performances at the European Under-21 Championships demonstrating why both Manchester City and Real Madrid are reportedly keen to sign him.

Earlier this week, Isco said he had yet to make up his mind about his future, but he is believed to prefer the Bernabeu to the chance of teaming up with his former Malaga boss Manuel Pellegrini at City.

Malaga's well-documented financial problems have seen players including Santi Cazorla sold in recent years - but Shatat, owner Abdullah Al-Thani's right-hand man, said nobody would be picking up Isco on the cheap.

"He is a magnificent player, very important for us - and if the offer which arrives is not the one which should arrive, we will not sell the player," Shatat said. "We want him to be sold for his price, for what he is worth. We do not need to sell him for an inappropriate price."

New coach Bernd Schuster said he had been told that Isco could leave but hoped to see the attacker remain at La Rosaleda for at least one more season.

"It is possible I will not be able to count on him," the German said. "But I always have a little hope. I know it is difficult.

"It is nice to have a player like this here, to see him be an important figure in the Champions League and with the Under-21s. Everyone must be very proud. If he stays with us, we will be happy. If he goes, then we wish him all the best."

The former Madrid player and manager said he understood the player's wish to prove himself at a big club, adding: "What I most like about him is he knows what he wants.

"He wants to play at a big club, which is very important. Often there are influences which are not good and revolve around money. You can only win things if you keep playing. The big clubs have seen him and know he could be an important player."

Schuster's Malaga will be very different to the side that reached the Champions League quarter-finals under Pellegrini last season.

Joaquin Sanchez, Roque Santa Cruz and Javier Saviola have already gone, and other high earners such as Jeremy Toulalan, Julio Baptista and Martin Demichelis are also expected to move on.

But the coach said: "I am very clear about how the budget will be, what players can come, the players who will have to leave.

"It seems a good idea to me, and I accept it. I like teams who control the pitch, at home and away, who take the game to all opponents. There is a great advantage, following Manuel [Pellegrini], as we are not very far apart in our idea of football."

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