Manchester City are facing defeat in their pursuit of Robert Lewandowski, while Spain U-21 international Isco has raised doubts over whether he will team up once again with Manuel Pellegrini.
Lewandowski has emerged as a target for City as they consider alternatives to their first-choice Edinson Cavani but the Borussia Dortmund forward has already rejected a move to the Etihad Stadium and it is believed that he would prefer a move to either Bayern Munich, Manchester United or Chelsea.
City have made contact with Lewandowski's representatives and the club are prepared to meet the player's personal demands, though it is understood that no bid has yet been made to Dortmund.
The £25m-rated Poland international earns around £35,000 a week at Dortmund and City will guarantee a wage that could potentially be worth more than quadruple that figure, but the Manchester club are still facing a losing battle to convince him to join Pellegrini.
United and Chelsea are believed to be more attractive options if he does opt for the Premier League, while City could also lose out in their attempt to sign the Napoli forward Cavani, who could join Real Madrid.
Pellegrini's bid to take Isco with him to England has also received a possible blow after the Malaga playmaker revealed that the Real Madrid contingent in the Spain U-21 squad had been battling to tempt him into moving to the Bernabeu.
It will require a fee of £30m to prise the 21-year-old Isco from the Spanish club and Pellegrini has made him a priority target after his appointment as City manager was confirmed officially on Friday.
Real are also long-term admirers and could rival City in the chase to sign the exciting midfielder.
He said: "Those (Spanish team-mates Morata, Nacho and Carvajal) are the guys insisting (for the move to Real Madrid). We'll see what happens. I try to draw the line there. We have the U-21 final and need to focus all five senses on that now.
"In seven days I will decide my future. After the U-21 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.
"City or Madrid? I can't say. Pellegrini is a great coach, though, of that there is no question."
Pellegrini, who will be unveiled as manager at City when last season's Premier League runners-up return to pre-season training, signed Isco from Valencia in 2011 and played a pivotal part in nurturing him to emerge as one of Spain's most coveted young talents.
City have already signed Fernandinho and Jesus Navas this summer and the club's chief executive, Ferran Soriano, has promised further "expensive" recruits. (© Daily Telegraph, London)