Report: West Ham have Champions League winner in their sights, he was once valued at £81 million
Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Report: West Ham have Champions League winner in their sights, he was once valued at £81 million

West Ham are interested in signing Real Madrid star Isco, according to Spanish outlet Estadio Deportivo. The Real Madrid playmaker was the link-piece in Zinedine Zidane’s all-conquering Real Madrid team of the late 2010s.

He has, however, fallen out of favour in the last few seasons after injuries and poor form has seen his market value plummet from around £81 million in 2018 according to Transfermarkt to just £6.75 million now. Estadio Deportivo notes that “Ceballos, Hazard and Jovic” are preferred ahead of him.

Isco, in what should be his prime years, is looking for more playtime and, with his contract up at the end of the season, he has allegedly already made his mind up about leaving Los Blancos after 9 years at the prestigious Madrid club.

A whole host of clubs are said to be interested, Borussia Dortmund, Milan, and Juventus to name a few. It seems, however, that West Ham’s recently defeated Europa League foes Sevilla are the frontrunners.

Estadio Deportivo say Sevilla boss Julen Lopetugui is known to have been interested in Isco since he started managing Sevilla in 2019 but his “(injury) record” made him too much of a risk for the Andalusian club to spend big money on.

West Ham and David Moyes will hope that their recent success in European competition and both the financial and competitive draw of the Premier League will be enough to swing Isco’s gaze their way.

Moyes has previous experience in finding form in players thought to be past their best (Jesse Lingard in the second half of the 2020/21 season). He will hope that will count for something in the negotiations with the ex-Malaga man.

Photo by Diego Souto/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Why would Isco choose West Ham?

Because it is a change that could help him to prosper once more. Isco has at times looked at odds and even bored with football in the Spanish League.

His 2017/18 season saw him bag 7 goals and 7 assists in the league for Real. This led to interest from arch-rivals Barcelona in a show of the talent clubs in Spain thought he possessed. However, a return of only 5 goals and 5 assists in the last 4 La Liga seasons showcases just how far he has fallen. He needs a change.

David Moyes and West Ham play a style of football that is crying out for a player who can add a streak of creative decisiveness to their play. Aaron Cresswell, Said Benrahma, and Pablo Fornals currently occupy the creative roles in the team but all 4 have been accused of inconsistency in the past.

Isco, with his Champions League experience and uniquely creative mind, could take West Ham to another level.

Money would not be a problem, There were indications in the Estadio Deportivo article that Isco is willing to take a lower wage to join Sevilla than the £211,000 that Salary Sport say he is making a week at Real.

According to the reliable ExWHUemplyee on his podcast The West Ham Way, the current highest earner Andriy Yarmolenko is due to leave West Ham on a free this summer. With his £160,000 a week wages off the books, the Hammers could match Isco’s Madrid wage if need be.

If West Ham could add a player Andres Iniesta once called “a fantastic player, with incredible talent”, it would be a signal to other clubs in the Premier League that their recent upturn in fortunes was not a flash in the pan, but rather the birth of a new top English club with real continental draw.

It could be a match made in heaven for both Isco and the Hammers if they can iron out a deal that works for both of them.

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