• Isco has made over 300 appearances for Real Madrid
  • He has fallen out of favor under Zinedine Zidane in recent times
  • Seville are expected to shell out around $24 million for Isco

Real Madrid’s Isco, who has fallen out of favor under Zinedine Zidane at Los Blancos, is reportedly interested to join Seville even though Premier League club Arsenal want to sign him on a loan deal in the 2021 January transfer window.

Arsenal want to acquire a six-month loan deal for Isco, but the 28-year-old midfielder is eager to reunite with Julen Lopetegui at Seville, Spanish publication AS reported. Lopetegui was Isco’s coach at Real Madrid and Spain national team between 2016 and 2018.

Isco delivered some of his best performances for Spain under Lopetegui’s management, including a memorable brace in his country’s 3-0 win over Italy in the World Cup qualifiers at Santiago Bernabeu in 2017. Around the same time, Isco was in good books of Zidane, who went to an extent to squeeze the midfielder by dropping Gareth Bale from the starting XI in the Champions League finals against Juventus in 2017 and Liverpool in 2018.

In recent times, Zidane has lost faith in Isco, who has featured in Real Madrid’s starting XI only thrice in as many as 11 appearances in the ongoing campaign. Since the minimum play time has been affecting Isco’s form, he is keen on making a move away from Real Madrid. The AS report has stated that Zidane has blocked Isco’s January transfer since he wants to keep his options ready for injury emergencies in the remainder of 2020-21.

Isco, whose current deal with Real Madrid is due to expire in 2022, will be allowed to negotiate with other clubs from January and Seville are expected to make a bid between $18 million and $25 million for the player.

The year 2018 was terrible for Lopetegui, who was sacked by Spain just before the 2018 FIFA World Cup after it was announced that the Spanish manager had been appointed as the new Real Madrid boss for the 2018-19 season. Unfortunately, he lasted for only 14 matches at Santiago Bernabeu and was fired for suffering six losses in 14 competitive matches.

Lopetegui has revived his managerial career at Seville, the club he joined ahead of the 2019-20 campaign. In his first year at Seville, the La Liga side finished fourth in the league table to qualify for the Champions League before they defeated Inter Milan 3–2 in the 2020 UEFA Europa League Final to claim his first trophy as Seville’s head coach.

Isco Real Madrid 2015
Sitting third on La Liga table, Real Madrid could cash in on promising midfielder Isco during January's transfer session. Getty Images

In the ongoing season, Lopetegui-managed Seville is currently placed fourth in the La Liga table and are only six points behind the top two clubs Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.