Isco of Spain scores a goal against Norway during their semi-final European Under-21 Championship soccer match in Netanya

Isco to announce his future in seven days – Manchester City and Real Madrid on alert

Leave a comment

Seven days. That’s the timeline Isco has given before he decides where he will play next.

The Spanish playmaker, currently featuring in the U-21 Euros, is one of the hottest commodities in this summer’s transfer market. He’s on the radar of Arsenal, Liverpool and Paris Saint-Germain although Real Madrid and Manchester City look to be his most likely destinations.

“In seven days I will decide my future,” Isco said. “After the U21 Euros I will analyse my situation and make the best choice for my future. At the moment I am calm and focused on my work with the national team.”

When asked about City and Madrid specifically, the 21 year old was coy but did hint at where his favored destination may be. “City or Madrid? I can’t say. Pellegrini is a great coach, though, of that there is no question.”

So is Pellegrini enough of an attraction for Isco to depart La Liga?

The Chilean’s presence at the Eithad would certainly assuage any apprehension Isco – who played for Pellegrini at Malaga – may have regarding playing time at City.

With Samir Nasri, Jesus Navas, James Milner and David Silva all on the Citizens roster, cracking the Starting XI will be no easy feat. Knowing Pellegrini and his scheme, however, could give Isco a definitive advantage in ousting Nasri and Milner from their perch.

At Real Madrid, there is no guarantee that the incoming manager – widely believed to be Carlo Ancelotti – will favor Isco and look out for the 21 year old’s well being. And while it’s highly unlikely that Ancelotti would confine Isco to the bench, awarding him a starting spot over Cristiano Ronaldo, Mesut Ozil or Angel Di Maria feels equally far-fetched.

Whether he chooses City or Madrid, Isco will be playing for a big club that can win championships and pay him some of the highest wages in the game. But with the World Cup a mere 12 months away, playing time should be an equally important consideration for the youngster who has yet to lock down a spot on La Furia Roja.

Juan Carlos Osorio to become new Mexico boss

Leave a comment

Mexico looks to have found a new manager in Juan Carlos Osorio.

Osorio, who had stints managing in Major League Soccer with the Chicago Fire and New York Red Bulls, was most recently coaching in Brazil with Sao Paulo.

However, the Brazilian club released a statement today that Osorio had decided to step down from his position in order to take the Mexico job.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage ]

Following Miguel Herrera’s firing in July, Ricardo Ferretti was named interim manager of El Tri, and will coach the side in Saturday’s CONCACAF playoff match against the United States. However, Ferretti has stated he will not stay with Mexico past that match, and will return to Liga MX, where he serves as manager of Tigres UANL.

Osorio had recently been linked with the Mexico job, but said he would take his time in making a decision.

His only other exposure to Mexican football came during a short stint in Liga MX managing Puebla. He lasted just seven matches before resigning and returning to manage in his native Colombia.

[ RELATED: Donovan says Klinsmann should be fired if USMNT loses to Mexico ]

He was in line to take charge of the Honduras national team in 2011, but he was unable to get out of the contract with the Colombian team he was managing at the time.

There has been no official confirmation of the hiring from the Mexican Federation.

Benzema and Benitez in a war of words at Real Madrid

MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 26: Head coach Rafael Benitez (R) of Real Madrid CF gives instructions to his player Karim Benzema (L) during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Malaga CF at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on September 26, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Karim Benzema has scored six goals in his eight appearances for Real Madrid this season, and is currently the top scorer in La Liga.

Despite being in great form, Benzema has continuously been substituted by manager Rafa Benitez, which has upset the French striker.

Benzema opened the scoring for Real in the Madrid derby over the weekend, but was taken off in the 77th minute. Atletico would go on to score minutes later as the match ended in a 1-1 draw.

[ RELATED: Top moments from USMNT vs. Mexico ]

Speaking after the game, Benzema said he was “fed up” with being taken off, but will continue to work to help his team.

Substitutions are what the coach decides, I’m just there to help my teammates.

It’s true I’m fed up of being taken off. I’m calm and will continue to work so I’m not always subtituted. He took me off to get a result, for defensive reasons.

It’s true that the electronic board always shows the No.9. Ask Benitez why that is.

When told about Benzema’s comments, Benitez said he made the change for tactical reasons, as Real was in the lead and he replaced the striker with a more defensive-minded player in midfielder Mateo Kovacic.

I needed to give the team some balance at that point in the game. I’m a huge fan of Benzema. If I were Karim, I’d also be angry at being taken off when I thought I was playing well and was on a great run of form.

What I’d do if I were Karim is score more goals so that next time I don’t have to be taken off and can say, ‘Hey, here I am.’

Benitez’s response comes off as a backhanded compliment, asking Benzema to “score more goals,” despite the player leading La Liga in scoring. In fact, Benzema has averaged a goal every 84 minutes this season, an incredible strike rate.

[ RELATED: Chelsea release statement on Jose Mourinho’s future ]

Over the summer, Benzema was linked with a move away from Real Madrid, but he constantly denied the rumors and said he never thought about leaving the club, which he called the best in the world. Just a few matches into the new season, there may be some trouble in paradise.