Manchester United face Olympiacos in the first-leg of their Champions League last 16 clash on Tuesday evening.
While David Moyes' side are widely expected to negotiate the tie without any real difficulty, his players will surely feel a certain amount of pressure knowing that success in the competition is probably their own chance of securing qualification for next season.
However, it seems that regardless of whether the defending Premier League champions are involved in Europe next season or not, they will look to heavily invest in significantly improving their squad this summer.
If you were to quiz a Manchester United fan on just which areas of the present squad require strengthening, I am sure a convincing case could be made equally for defence, central midfield and the wider areas.
As an outsider, it appears to me that, once Moyes has found a suitable replacement for outgoing skipper Nemanja Vidic this summer, that the Scot should immediately seek the signing of a quality midfield reinforcements.
A possible exclusion from the Champions League means that Manchester United will have to be clever and realistic with their potential targets, however. With that in mind, one player I believe Moyes should try to sign is budding Real Madrid midfielder Isco.
Now, while you might consider the phrases 'realistic target' and 'Real Madrid midfielder' to be unnatural bedfellows, there is logic to this particular bout of madness.
It has been reported that the 21-year-old - who only joined Real from Malaga last summer and has also been linked with a £30 million move to Arsenal recently - has become somewhat unsettled at the Bernabeu, with Isco apparently discontent with Carlo Ancelotti's particular brand of training and feeling that he is just not progressing.
Now, while I would not expect a Manchester United side facing at least a year in European limbo to have much of a chance of signing a happy and totally satisfied Isco, the fact that he is apparently - and for the purposes of this debate we are going to presume that this is indeed the case - unhappy at the Santiago Bernabeu could give them a real potential chance.
At just 21, Isco has an extremely bright career at the elite level ahead of him. While he perhaps lacks the defensive capabilities that Manchester United really require in an all-round midfielder, it surely cannot seriously be suggested that they would be in any position to turn down a player of such ability?
If Arsenal's aforementioned interest in Isco is also authentic, then that should only encourage Manchester United to mount a bid of their own for the player.
While Arsene Wenger's men might be temporarily experiencing an upturn in fortunes far removed from Manchester United's misery, it seems unlikely to me that they have surged ahead of the Red Devils as a more appealing transfer destination - well not yet, anyway.
Indeed, if £30 million is the kind of figure it will take to end his stay in the Spanish capital, that hardly seems like a figure that would be significantly outside of United's price range.
Manchester United's need for a midfielder of Isco's quality and potential is far greater than Arsenal's, that much is abundantly clear and, as such, the former should look to rival their old foes in any particular deal.
If Moyes is looking for a realistic and attainable target to provide a dramatic improvement to his current midfield options, then Isco could be an ideal option.
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