City – who have reportedly spent more than 50 million pounds in the off-season to sign Fernandinho and Jesus Navas from Shakhtar Donetsk and Sevilla respectively – are said to be battling with Real Madrid for the signature of the 21-year-old.

Isco scored 12 goals in 47 appearances in all competitions for Malaga last season, and he was a key figure in the club's run to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.

And he is fresh off a series of starring performances in Spain's UEFA European Under-21 Championship win, in which he scored three goals.

Those efforts will have only increased City's interest, but with a reported release clause of 30 million pounds, they may be forced to splash the cash.

Malaga vice-president Moayad Shatat said the club would love to keep Isco, and that they will only sell him if the price is right.

"He's a magnificent player, very important to us and if the offers do not match what we are looking for then we will not sell the player," Shatat said on Wednesday.

"We will only sell for the right price, and that price has been set. We have no need to sell if the price is not right."