Manchester City target Isco has dropped the clearest hint yet that he will snub a move to the Etihad Stadium and instead join Real Madrid this summer.
The Malaga ace recently confirmed that he has two offers on the table from Real Madrid and Manchester City, and said he would make a decision over his future after he returns from a break following the conclusion of the U21 European Championships.
Manchester City had been hopeful of snapping up the young Spanish star following the arrival of his former boss Manuel Pellegrini as Roberto Mancini's replacement.
However Isco hinted in an interview with Spanish newspaper AS that he was leaning away from a move to the Citizens and towards Real Madrid.
"Madrid excites me," he said. "They are one of the best teams in the world."
Isco, who helped Spain claim victory in the U21 European Championships with a string of fine performances, is expected to leave cash-strapped Malaga this summer, and is said to have a €35 million release clause in his contract.
According to Sky Sports the deal that could see Isco head towards the Bernabeu may also involve Denis Cheryshev heading in the opposite direction.
It has been a frustrating summer once more for Manchester City, who look unlikely to land Edinson Cavani after Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis confirmed the 2011/12 Premier League champions were unwilling to meet his #53 million release clause.