Isco says he would welcome Gareth Bale at Real Madrid and that the Tottenham winger's arrival would give coach Carlo Ancelotti a nice problem to solve.
• Ball: Reasons to be cheerful
Bale has been linked all summer with a €100 million-plus move from Spurs to the Madrid, but doubts have begun to surface over the wisdom of the deal.
It has been suggested that Madrid president Florentino Perez and Ancelotti are having second thoughts, in part because of the form of €30 million signing Isco, who has impressed everyone with his assured and stylish performances cutting in from the left of midfield during pre-season.
Speaking after training on Friday at Madrid’s Valdebebas facility, the ex-Malaga star said he was not worried about the Wale international’s potential arrival adding to the battle for starting places at the club.
“He [Bale] is a great player,” Isco said. “If he comes it would be a 'blessed' problem for the boss. If he arrives I would have to welcome him, like all other new players."
The star of Spain’s Under-21 European Championship success in June said he was happy with how things were going at Madrid but did not expect to be an automatic choice for their Primera Division opener against Real Betis at the Bernabeu on Sunday evening.
“I have come here to do my work,” Isco said. “I played most [pre-season] games as a starter. I am happy with that, but on Sunday the boss must have the last word. I hope to play a lot, although the truth is that at Madrid nobody gives you a gift of anything -- you must work for it.”
Ancelotti was clear that Madrid’s players should express themselves on the pitch, Isco said.
“He is very close. He always speaks well of you, and is looking after you. His philosophy of play is perfect for the Madrid of these years. We have the perfect coach for us, and we will see a great Madrid. He asks us to keep the ball and for us to be creative. We also have to press high up the pitch.”
He added that had not been difficult to settle in alongside fellow creative midfielders Luka Modric and Mesut Ozil in the centre of the park.
“[Ozil] is a great player and it is easy to get an understanding with him,” he said. “He is always there at the right moment. It is a joy to be able to count on him, or Modric, who are very good, and always look after the ball.”
ESPN FC understands Manchester United are keen on Modric and Ozil.