Malaga starlet Isco is one of the form players in European football at the moment.
At just 20-years-old, the classy attacking midfielder has the world at his feet, and it is no surprise that he has been included in Spain’s squad for their upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
Superstar midfielder Xavi may be struggling with an injury, but even if he was fit, Isco would not look out of place alongside him.
It is largely due to Isco’s exploits that Malaga have reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League, and with every eye-catching display for his club his cachet grows.
Malaga’s economic woes are well-known, and they have sold their most bankable assets as a matter of course over the past two seasons.
Having witnessed his blossoming career first-hand, Barcelona and Real Madrid are thought to be considering moves for Isco, and Chelsea are also rumoured to be partial to paying the estimated €35 million Malaga could ask for him.
And so Isco accepts that there is a chance he will not be a Malaga player next season, even if he is happy with life at La Rosaleda.
“Nobody knows about that,” Isco said from the Spain camp, when asked where his club future lies.
“I am here now, tomorrow we will see.
“I’ve been a Malaga fan since I was small. I was a junior socio (club member) before I left for Valencia, and I am very happy to be here now and learning a lot.
“We will see what happens next, it is not something that concerns me a lot right now. I am enjoying my life at the moment.”
Wherever he lands up playing, Isco acknowledges he will owe a debt of gratitude to Malaga’s impressive Chilean manager, Manuel Pellegrini, who has helped mould him into one of football’s most coveted youngsters.
“I arrived aged 19, just a boy, without having played in the first division,” he said. “I came into a dressing room with [Ruud] Van Nistelrooy, [Jeremy] Toulalan and Joaquin.
"I learned something in every training session and every game, I know I am only beginning in football. Pellegrini tells me to just play football, to get on the ball and link up with my teammates. He has given me all the confidence in the world.”
Meanwhile, Isco also confirmed that he had named his dog after Barcelona star Lionel Messi, because he sees some similarities between the two!
“It is a labrador, I got it as a present the day after Messi put four goals past Arsenal,” Isco said.
“I gave him that name because Messi is the best in the world, and so is my dog.”