Real Madrid ace shares how close he came to joining Tottenham after reported Pochettino talks
By London correspondent Tony Hughes
Isco has claimed he did not try to engineer a move from Real Madrid during the summer transfer window.
It has been reported that Tottenham were close to the deadline-day transfer of the 24-year-old.
The Daily Mail claim that manager Mauricio Pochettino held talks with the Spanish playmaker to personally convince him to make a move to White Hart Lane but Isco was doubtful about a switch to the Premier League.
The player has admitted he is having a testing time at Real after slipping down the pecking order under Zinedine Zidane but has not pushed for a transfer.
Asked if he considered quitting the club during the summer window, Isco told Spanish newspaper Marca: “Not really, I have two years left on my Real contract, the club said nothing and I never looked for anything to leave.
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“At Real Madrid I’ve played many games, more than people think, about 150 but I’ve never been the star man. In Madrid I know it’s very difficult because of the competition, but I won’t give up. I work everyday to demonstrate my abilities.”
Spanish news outlet Diario Madridista claim that Isco’s situation at Real has persuaded Spurs and Arsenal to reignite their interest in him.
His contract with the Champions League holders expires in 2018 and there has been no attempt from the club to extend the deal.
“I don’t know, the truth is that I have not yet thought about it, nor have they asked me to renew, so I am calm,” Isco added to Marca. “I take it day by day, which is important.
“Yes, it seems a little weird, but I can’t do anything. If they don’t want me to renew, I won’t go asking for it. It’s something for the club to decide, not me.”
Since his £25million signing from Malaga in 2013 he has made 154 appearances for Real and scored 22 goals and supplied 35 assists across all competitions.
The Spain international, who has never played outside of his homeland, is aware his game time will be limited at Real this season.
The Mail report that, with Zinedine Zidane at the helm, Isco has accumulated less than 50 per cent of possible playing time.
Yet, he was involved in 62 per cent of Real Benitez’s minutes in charge, and 65 per cent under Italian predecessor, Carlo Ancelotti.
In other Tottenham transfer news, a regular starter fears he will be frozen out by Pochettino at White Hart Lane.