By Tim Stannard
1) Isco ponders future after substitute season
For a talented and versatile footballer that rightfully has high hopes of being the king of the hill, top of the list, A-number one at Real Madrid, the current season is not going so well for Isco.
A year ago, the player was the toast of the football world, being spoken about as a future Ballon d’Or winner. But now the Spanish international is largely seen scowling from the Real Madrid bench, at a team that is not exactly setting the world alight this year.
Isco is no longer the main man of Madrid, having started just four league games since the end of November and is apparently caught in a no-man’s land between the unsuccessful Copa del Rey squad and the unsuccessful league squad. Even Borja Mayoral gets a gig ahead of Isco in some matches. That bad. It’s a far cry from last season when the footballer’s various wonder strikes delivered 10 goals to the Madrid cause to help win a La Liga and Champions League double.
This rapid slowdown in Isco’s career has some of the Madrid media chattering on Tuesday that the footballer has decided to leave if he does not play a key part in the club’s staggeringly important PSG Champions League clashes in February. A season slump is also the concern of Spain’s national team manager, who fears for Marco Asensio’s form this season as well - "I'm sure they will play again, but I'm worried that Marco and Isco play little,” admitted Julen Lopetegui.
Head to our Facebook page at 1PM ET / 10AM PT to see if the beIN SPORTS hive-mind thinks that Isco needs to leave the Santiago Bernabeu to flourish as a footballer.
2) Mbappe back in business in PSG cup clash
Now, one possible destination for Isco might well be PSG. Of course. As it’s easy to link the club with every player in the world.
However, the Ligue Un leaders are currently going through an exercise in shedding players to meet Financial Fair Play restrictions to their budget. One of the footballers to be leaving is Lucas Moura, whose move to Tottenham Hotspur is expected to be confirmed on Tuesday after a medical. Both Spurs and PSG have reportedly agreed to a fee in the region of $30 million.
By lovely coincidence, PSG are in action on beIN SPORTS on Tuesday, to brighten up the day in a League Cup semifinal clash against Rennes. All the big hitters are in the squad including Kylian Mbappe, last seen being pole-axed by a goalkeeper and stretchered off the pitch a couple of a weeks ago.
Tune in at 3PM ET / 12PM PT to see if PSG can edge closer in the Quest for the Quadruple. Need a better tagline for that really…
3) Man City break record to bring in Laporte
And speaking of the Premier League, Manchester City has taken its spending on the club’s backline to over three billion dollars this year with the purchase of Aymeric Laporte from Athletic Bilbao. The Basque battler joins for a club record fee of $80 million.
However, the news was not all good for City with the league leaders set to lose Leroy Sane for up to seven weeks after the severity of a horror challenge in a weekend FA Cup clash against Cardiff City was confirmed.
Tuesday might also see the closing of the deal for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang with the Borussia Dortmund forward set to join Arsenal. Except matters are a little more complicated than that. The move also depends on Dortmund getting a replacement. That replacement could be Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud. But the French forward wants to stay in London, which is handy as Chelsea want him. But where does that leave Dortmund…and so on and so on.
4) Arsenal set for whole new way to disappoint fans
As well as some transfer business to care of on Tuesday, there are also some actual soccer games being played aside from PSG.
The Premier League has three for starters with Arsenal set to disappoint their fans all over again in an away clash against struggling Swansea City. And it’s also the former-Borussia-Dortmund-trainer derby in Yorkshire with David Wagner and Jurgen Klopp coming together as Huddersfield takes on Liverpool.
From now on, get behind the team for every minute of every game. The measure of a fan base is how it responds to difficulty, not success.— HTSA (@OfficialHTSA) January 30, 2018
Remember who we are and where we come from. pic.twitter.com/02cnBajL2l
The Coppa Italia has reached the semifinal stages and Tuesday sees the first part of a double-header between Atalanta and Juventus. "It's in Juve's DNA to have the desire to win every day,” announced Juve boss, Massimiliano Allegri. Naturally, the XTRA has you covered for the best action of the day.
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