Real Madrid have confirmed the signing of Isco from Malaga subject to a medical, in a deal worth a reported €27 million plus €3 million in add-ons.
The news had been widely expected following Madrid president Florentino Perez’s claim the previous evening that the transfer had been agreed, but will still come as a blow to Manchester City new coach Manuel Pellegrini, who had hoped to bring his former Malaga charge with him to Eastlands.
Confirmation that Madrid’s campaign - which included a series of public pronouncements from Perez, Alvaro Morata and Sergio Ramos - had seen off City’s interest broken via Madrid’s club site on Thursday morning.
"Real Madrid and Malaga have reached an agreement for the transfer of the player Francisco Roman Alarcon 'Isco', who will remain attached to the club for the next five seasons," the short statement said. "He will pass his medical examination on Wednesday July 3, and will be presented at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu."
Malaga also confirmed on their own website that the deal was done for the playmaker, 21, who starred for the Andalucian club in the Champions League last season and then for Spain at the recent European Under-21 Championships.
“Malaga Club de Futbol have reached an agreement for the transfer with Real Madrid of the player Francisco Alarcón Suárez ‘Isco’,” its statement said. “Malaga CF wants to thank Isco, and his family, for his impeccable commitment and behaviour as a malaguista, and for all the good moments he gifted to the blanquiazul fans. In the same way, the club wishes luck and a successful future to the player from Arroyo de la Miel.”
The move had been welcomed by Madrid right-back Alvaro Arbeloa who, speaking from Spain's Confederations Cup camp in Brazil, said he would bring extra competition for places in Madrid's attacking areas.
"I am very happy with his arrival. He is a great player, young and he will bring a lot to us in the 'creation zone'. Madrid always must have different options so that absences do not affect the performance of the team."
New Blancos coach Carlo Ancelotti had also made public his admiration for Isco at the Italian’s presentation at the Bernabeu on Wednesday morning.
"I can just talk about the quality of this player, he is very good," Ancelotti said. "Spain's Under-21 side has fantastic players and he is the one with the most quality of all. He could play for any team."
Isco's arrival may have some knock-on effects on the rest of Madrid's transfer business this summer. Argentine winger Angel Di Maria, reportedly a €25 million target for Paris Saint Germain and Manchester United - may now be surplus to requirements.
Perez's main target this summer remains Gareth Bale however, with an €80 million plus offer reportedly still in the works at the Bernabeu.
The Malaga-born player joined his home town club from Valencia two years ago for €6 million. He scored 17 goals in 80 games for the Andalucian outfit, three of which came in the 2012/13 Champions League as Malaga reached the quarter-finals under Pellegrini's guidance.