Isco not fit enough - Solari drops Madrid star again despite injury crisis

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The midfielder has struggled for game time under the current boss and the Real Madrid coach had now explained why he's been left out

Real Madrid coach Santiago Solari has criticised Isco's fitness, seemingly revealing why the midfielder has been out of favour this season as he was omitted from the squad once again.

Isco, 26, has made just five La Liga starts this campaign, and none since Solari took charge in late October.

The Spain international reportedly opted not to travel with Madrid on the bus for the second leg of their Champions League last-16 loss to Ajax on Tuesday after being dropped from the matchday squad.

While Solari was unwilling to be drawn into that matter, the Argentinian hinted that the midfielder was struggling to maintain his appropriate fitness levels as his exile continued this week when he was left out of the squad for Sunday's trip to Real Valladolid on Sunday.

"Disciplinary issues are handled internally," the coach told a news conference. 

"To play, you have to be in the right physical shape first and then you have to maintain it."

Solari's future with the club remains very much in doubt, with Goal understanding that  Jose Mourinho is being lined up to replace the Argentine in an interim role after a wretched 11-day period that some critics have dubbed the worst in Madrid's history .

In that span the club lost twice to Barcelona at the Bernabeu, once in the Copa del Rey and once in La Liga, before taking a 4-1 loss to Ajax that saw the club knocked out of the Champions League.  

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And Isco is not the only player to have drawn the ire of the current manager, who claimed that he had directly spoken to the players he didn't think had fallen in line

Other star names like Gareth Bale and Marcelo have had their struggles, and a bust-up with Florentino Perez has left the future of club captain Serigio Ramos in some doubt as well

Madrid are third in La Liga, 15 points behind rivals and leaders Barcelona heading into Sunday's match and have just 12 matches remaining to try and close the gap on the runaway league leaders.