Spain's hat-trick hero Isco ensured his goals weren't the only talking point following the shock 6-1 rout of Argentina in Madrid on Tuesday night, as he candidly admitted he doesn't have the 'confidence' he needs to replicate his international form at club level.
The former Malaga playmaker has made close to 40 appearances in all competitions for Real this season under Zinedine Zidane but his output has come under scrutiny - particularly compared to 2016/17, where he established himself as one of Los Blancos' key men as they won La Liga and the Champions League.
Speaking after his three-goal showing as Spain demolished Argentina, Isco stoked transfer speculation that has caught fire of late by suggesting he doesn't get enough 'confidence' from Zidane.
"In Madrid I don't have the confidence a player needs," he explained in his post-match interview, as quoted by Marca. "The matches with the national team give me life, here I have the confidence of the coach.
"I want to show that I'm a good player.
"[Julen] Lopetegui shows me confidence with the minutes he gives me," he added. "Maybe I'm the problem in Madrid. I don't know how to win Zidane's confidence."
On Monday, Isco was linked with a trio of Premier League clubs by a report from The Sun, which claimed that Manchester City were favorites to land the star, if he became available in the summer.
Arsenal and Manchester United were the other two sides linked in the report, but a desire to play under Pep Guardiola - at least according to The Sun's source - give City the edge.
“He wants to play under Pep by all accounts. Everyone knows Real want to add new attacking talent and he could be one that goes," a source said.
Isco only recently signed a new contract with Real Madrid, which ties him to the Santiago Bernebeu until 2022 and famously includes a colossal €700m release clause.