Tottenham tried to sign Spanish international Isco during the summer transfer window but he eventually decided to stay at Real Madrid and fight for his place. He wasn't happy with the game time he was getting and quite frankly his situation has worsened.
So far this season he has played just 83 minutes of football and 66 of those were in the UEFA Super Cup for the winners of the two UEFA European competitions. He played 17 minutes in the opening LaLiga fixture against Real Sociedad and then injured his ankle which kept him out. Despite having recover he was left out of the squad altogether for the opening UEFA Champions League tie and Real Madrid president Florentino Pérez remains open to selling him.
Tottenham tried hard until the final day to sign the 14-cap international but it was Isco himself who refused to leave Real Madrid, although his importance within the squad is diminishing.
The midfield trio of Kroos-Casemiro-Modric are the clear first choice partnership with James Rodriguez and Marco Asensio ahead of Isco in the pecking order. Under Zidane he is getting less game time than under other managers and the Real Madrid hierarchy are reportedly disappointed that he didn't move on in the summer.
Is there an element now of Real Madrid now trying to force him out? He has a contract until 2018 so his transfer value is diminishing as his contract runs down, that will alert more clubs.
After Zidane’s appointment as head coach, the 24-year-old (25 next April) attacking midfielder has only played 1,314 of 2,790 minutes. That works out to just 47% of possible playing time, under Ancelotti it was 65% and under Rafa Benitez it was 62%.
In his favour is the Real Madrid transfer ban, they can't sign players for the next two windows so injuries will mean Zidane will have to use him at some point. Isco will have to make his mark if and when Zidane implements his rumoured rotation policy this season.
Mauricio Pochettino remains interested and Tottenham will keep a watching brief. If his situation doesn't improve we will make further attempts to sign him, although we won't be alone in that.