Bengaluru, December 20: Chelsea have leapt ahead of their arch rivals Arsenal and Manchester City in the race for Real Madrid midfielder Isco, according to reports.
The Blues are set to make a £70million bid for the former Malaga man and hope personal terms of around £250,000 a week will quickly be agreed. A hefty signing-on fee is also expected to be part of the package for a four-and-a-half-year deal.
The Real Madrid playmaker is ready to make the January switch to Stamford Bridge with Arsenal not making a firm offer and City wanting to wait until the summer.
The 26-year-old is surplus to requirements at Real Madrid with boss Santiago Solari and chairman Florentine Perez in agreement to sell. The Spain star has made just 11 league appearances and was booed by the home crowd in last week's Champions League game against CSKA Moscow.
There is a feeling he is carrying too much weight and is not fit enough for the job.
Chelsea boss Sarri, who has handed negotiations to Sporting Director Marina Granovskaia, wants to pair Isco with Chelsea superstar Eden Hazard. Hazard has been used in the 'false 9’ position in recent weeks and Sarri sees Isco as the perfect foil for the Belgian.
Negotiations will move quickly and Isco could join Chelsea in the first week of January as they look to mount a serious Premier League title challenge.
City boss Pep Guardiola is a long-term admirer of Isco but the Spaniard is not willing to wait until the summer as he is so desperate to get out of Madrid.
The former Napoli boss also feels he will not be an automatic pick at City and wants to cement his place in the Spain team.
At the Etihad, he will have to compete with the likes of Kevin De Bruyne, David Silva, Bernardo Silva amd Ilkay Gundogan for a place in midfield whereas at Chelsea he has more chances of making the first team.