Manchester City boss Manuel Pellegrini has admitted Real Madrid midfielder Isco was very close to signing for the Etihad Stadium side in 2013 before the European giants nipped in at the last minute to take him to the Spanish capital.
The 25-year-old enjoyed a successful two-year spell working with the Chilean at Malaga and was hotly tipped to complete a 30 million euro deal to the Premier League when Pellegrini took charge of the Citizens.
In the end, he signed for the Santiago Bernabeu side and has experienced winning the Champions League, Copa del Rey, European Super Cup and World Club Cup in his time as a Los Blancos player.
Speaking to Madrid-based sports paper, Marca, ahead of the Champions League semi-final between the two sides, Pellegrini admitted he was close to securing Isco’s signature three years ago.
“For any footballer it’s a dream to play in Madrid. Isco had everything arranged to play for City, but there were reasons that eventually took him there,” he said.
“I don’t want to analyse those reasons. I understand that he wanted to play in Madrid. It is an experience that made him grow. He is in a great team, always training with great players. Isco would have done great things at City. I’ve always liked the technical, creative, capable midfielders to score goals, which are Silva, Nasri or Santi Cazorla,” he added.