Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu has admitted that he would not hesitate to sign Isco, or any other Real Madrid player, despite the long-standing rivalry between the two clubs.
Isco’s future has been the subject of intense speculation since the start of the season. He has struggled for consistent minutes under both Julen Lopetegui and Santiago Solari, having yet to start a La Liga game under the latter – who assumed control of the side in early November – thus prompting rumours of a potential Bernabeu exit.
Speaking on El Partidazo de COPE, Bartomeu insisted that the club would be happy to sign a Real player if manager Ernesto Valverde desired. He said: “If our coaches asked us for a player and they want to leave Madrid, of course we would sign them.
“[There are] no agreements but there has not been this case since I arrived in 2010.”
When specifically questioned about a potential move for Isco, Bartomeu refused to elaborate on his stance, instead stating: “If they ask for a player, I would talk to the president of Madrid [Florentino Perez] first, but that has never happened.”
Transfer dealings between the two sides are rare, but there are several examples of players moving from one club to the other. The likes of Javier Saviola, Luis Enrique and Luis Figo have all made the move directly, with Figo’s £37.4m move from Barcelona to Real becoming a record transfer in 2000.
Barcelona will welcome Real to the Camp Nou on Wednesday night in the first leg of the Copa del Rey semi-final. Isco will certainly be desperate to be given the chance to start the game, having only made two starts across Real’s six cup ties this season.
It has been widely speculated that, should Solari remain in the dugout at the Bernabeu, Isco could leave the club at the end of the season. There would be no shortage of suitors for the Spaniard, with the likes of Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and Juventus all thought to be keen on signing Isco.