Tottenham were close to audacious transfer after Pochettino talks - report
By London correspondent Tony Hughes
Tottenham were close to the deadline-day transfer of Isco, according to a report.
The Daily Mail claim that Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino held talks with the Spanish playmaker but he chose to remain at Real Madrid.
Spanish outlet AS claimed last month that Real were prepared to let the 24-year-old leave the club on loan in the final hours of the window.
It is said that Pochettino contacted Isco to personally convince him to make a move to White Hart Lane but the midfielder was doubtful about a switch to the Premier League.
The Spain international, who has never played outside of his homeland, is aware his game time will be limited at Real this season.
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The Mail report that, with Zinedine Zidane at the helm, Isco has accumulated just 1,314 of a possible 2,790 minutes of playing time, which works out as just 47 per cent.
Yet, he was involved in 62 per cent of Spaniard Benitez’s minutes in charge, and 65 per cent under Italian predecessor, Carlo Ancelotti.
Isco announced himself on the European stage during his Malaga spell and eventually caught the eye of giants Madrid.
In just 84 appearances he scored 17 goals and supplied 12 assists from midfield.
Since his £25million signing from Malaga in 2013 he has made 151 appearances for Real and scored 22 goals and supplied 35 assists across all competitions.
He was a regular player under Ancelotti, making 106 of his 151 Real appearances for the new Bayern Munich boss.
Isco’s high intensity and work rate seems well suited to Pochettino’s style of football.
The midfielder has made 14 appearances for a highly competitive Spain squad, but could profit in the national team if given regular football.
In other Tottenham transfer news, a regular starter fears he will be frozen out by Pochettino at White Hart Lane.