Isco adds to Real Madrid’s injury woes
Former Los Blancos director of football Mijatovic warns that La Liga side's midfield is 'hobbling'
Real Madrid midfielder Isco is set to miss Monday morning's (Singapore time) La Liga match against Villarreal after the club announced yesterday that he had picked up a thigh injury.
"Isco has been diagnosed with a muscular injury in the right femoral biceps," said Real in a statement.
The club have not given a time frame for the midfielder's return but said "his recovery will continue to be monitored".
According to Spanish daily AS, the recovery time for this kind of injury is between two to three weeks.
That would rule him out of La Liga games against Villarreal and possibly Levante on Sept 14.
It is another setback for Los Blancos coach Zinedine Zidane, who already has a lengthy injury list featuring Eden Hazard, James Rodriguez, Brahim Diaz, Rodrygo and Marco Asensio, reported AFP.
There have been reports that Hazard was overweight when he arrived at pre-season training while Colombia's former team doctor believes Rodriguez is "distracted" and too "concerned about his hair".
Hector Fabio Cruz told Colombian website FutbolRed: "The guy is distracted, instead of working to prepare himself for the new season, he's more concerned with fixing his eyebrows and his hair when he should be making sure he's physically in the best shape."
Rodriguez, who has been on loan at Bayern Munich for the past two seasons, had been heavily linked to Atletico Madrid and Napoli earlier in the summer.
Meanwhile, former Real Madrid player and director of football Predrag Mijatovic has said his former team's midfield is not good enough.
The Champions League final match-winner and former Ballon d'Or runner-up told Spanish broadcaster Cadena SER: "Let's see if they bring someone in the time they have left, but I'm not optimistic.
"The midfield is hobbling a little, there aren't many alternatives. Another top-level midfielder would do them a lot of good.
"If the squad stays as it is, they can compete, but we can't be too optimistic and think we are the best and that we are going to win a lot of titles.
"We will compete, but there other teams in better shape.
"Hazard is the only one who can make a difference.
"I expected a little more from the squad strengthening this summer."
Real spent £276 million (S$469.8 million) in the summer to sign attackers Luka Jovic, Hazard and Rodrygo, midfielder Takefusa Kubo and defenders Eder Militao and Ferland Mendy.
The club have also chased Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba - who Zidane is reportedly insistent on - and Paris Saint-Germain attacker Neymar.
However, neither player looks set to end up at the Bernabeu when the Spanish transfer window closes on Sept 2.
Madrid-based AS and Marca, as well as Barcelona-based Mundo Deportivo, all reported that Neymar is only interested in a return to the Nou Camp and is not keen on a move to Real.
Barcelona director Javier Bordas, who has been in Paris negotiating with PSG, said: "There's still no deal, we're negotiating and we're closer."
Barca are reported to have offered the French side two options - a loan with an obligation to buy for 170 million euros (S$262m) or a part-exchange deal with Ousmane Dembele.
But any Dembele deal looks dead in the water with his agent Moussa Sissoko telling French broadcaster Telefoot: "He is staying 100 per cent. There is no chance he will leave."