By Greg Stobart
Manchester City are ready to meet Isco's £17.5 million release fee this January before loaning the playmaker back to Malaga until the summer, Goal.com can reveal.
City's new director of football Txiki Begiristain has discovered that the Andalusian outfit are looking to extend the midfielder's current deal at La Rosaleda, which would likely raise his buy-out clause to over £30m. As such, the Premier League outfit are preparing to act fast in order to grab themselves a bargain.
Roberto Mancini has been desperate to land the 20-year-old for a number of months, as was revealed by Goal.com in October, with the youngster proving pivotal to Malaga's outstanding form this season. Manuel Pellegrini's side sit fourth in La Liga and are comfortably through to the Champions League knockout stages.
The Italian had hoped to bring Isco to Manchester in January, but would be willing to let him stay in Spain until the end of the season in order to keep the fee down as they continue to monitor Radamel Falcao and Stevan Jovetic.
City officials have been made aware of other clubs monitoring the youngster and see a move for less than £20m as good business, while Malaga are looking to make a healthy profit on the midfielder after paying Valencia £6.5m for his services in 2011.
The champions also view Isco, who made his debut for Spain earlier this year before failing to make the final cut for the 23-man squad that went on to win Euro 2012, as a perfect alternative to Eden Hazard, whom they missed out on in the summer.
The 20-year-old is a product of Valencia’s youth team and has been highly recommended to City staff by David Silva, another star graduate of the Spanish club's academy.