Isco Real Madrid 2018Getty Images

Isco a ticking time bomb heading for explosive Real Madrid exit

Isco’s situation at Real Madrid is a ticking time bomb and the reigning European champions may be forced to sell the attacking midfielder if things do not change, Goal understands.

The talented Spain international has been struggling under Santiago Solari following his appointment as Julen Lopetegui's successor.

Part of the problem surrounding Isco is his place in Solari’s system, which is a 4-3-3 that plays more direct than the playmaker is comfortable with. However, Madrid have offered their full backing to their manager in the matter, and believe the 26-year-old must adapt and play better if he is to earn more playing time.

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This has left Isco feeling frustrated in Madrid, with the playmaker having gone from a starter to playing just 210 out of a possible 810 minutes under Solari.

The Spain international underwent surgery in September for appendicitis but came back before he was fully fit at the request of former head coach Lopetegui.

In 2017, Isco told Marca "I'm not stupid, if I'm not a starter with Ancelotti, Benítez and Zidane it's my fault". The club fears that sort of attitude is lacking at the moment as he finds himself irritated with the situation that sees him indispensable for Spain but relegated to the bench in Madrid.

Isco and his representatives have also been hurt by allegations that he is overweight and feel that the treatment of him in the media has been harsh.

Caught in the middle are the Real Madrid players themselves, who respect Solari but also have empathy for their team-mate. Goal understands at least part of the dressing room believes the only solution is to do what is best for the team to work hard and keep internal issues private.

Real Madrid value Isco as an important member of their successful recent history as well as part of their future. Indeed, he has already claimed four Champions League wins and a Liga crown since joining from Malaga in 2013.

President Florentino Perez, meanwhile, is growing disenchanted with the situation.

A report from TVE claims that Isco and his representatives requested a meeting with Perez to voice their displeasure over his situation, which was apparently denied.

What's more, club sources have revealed to Goal that Perez and the board were annoyed by the way Isco gestured to the Bernabeu crowd during the 3-0 defeat to CSKA Moscow.

Isco Real Madrid CSKA Moscow

While the incident was downplayed publicly, privately they believe the player's response to those whistling him was unnecessary and that he is attempting to put out the fires with gasoline.

Despite the current issues around Isco and his situation at the club, Madrid do want the waters to calm and the player to stay put.

Should he push for an exit in January or next summer, however, they are prepared to let him go, but will request that he states his desire to leave publicly.

Isco currently has a €700 million (£630m/$795m) release clause that was inserted into his current contract that he signed in 2017 and ties him to the club until 2022 - a deal which substantially improved his salary after reported interest of rivals Barcelona and multiple Premier League teams.

Goal understands that Manchester City are unlikely to be in the market for Isco having not been interested in signing him last summer. The Spaniard is not the No.8 type of player Pep Guardiola would be looking for, while he also isn't a flying winger in the same category of Raheem Sterling or Leroy Sane.

That said, should City show an interest in Isco, Madrid would look to use their interest in Brahim Diaz to help facilitate a deal, with Goal having reported that the promising youngster is ready to join the Liga giants .

Juventus, meanwhile, have also been mooted as a potentially interested party, while Premier League clubs will surely be staying abreast of the situation.