It appears Manchester United will face stiff competition from Spanish champions Barcelona if they are to prise highly sought after midfielder Koke away from Atletico Madrid in the January transfer window, or even in the summer.
Man United’s doomed pursuit of another top class centre midfielder this summer was more widely publicised than the perceived threat of the millennium bug back in 1999, but unperturbed, David Moyes has identified another target.
Atletico Madrid’s fantastic start to the season – in which they have won their first eight La Liga and both Champions League games – has not gone unnoticed across the continent and especially the influence of 21-year-old midfield sensation Koke.
Otherwise known as Jorge Ressureccion Merodio, Koke’s sparkling performances for Diego Simeone’s side have not only led to interest from other top European sides, but have also seen him called up to the Spain squad for their recent qualifiers.
Koke has already drawn comparisons to Barca legend Xavi over in Spain, as he’s developed a fine range of passing and rarely gives the ball away, despite regularly providing incisiveness in the final third as well.
Since Paul Scholes retired at Old Trafford, the Red Devils have been searching for a player of his mould, and in Koke they would certainly have that sort of string-pulling player they crave.
However, with Barca sniffing also, it’s a huge ask, especially when comparisons are being made to the current greats to be wearing the famous shirt.
Furthermore, despite apparently having a £16m release clause written into his freshly signed Atletico contract; with his current side playing so well, the player himself may well not wish to move this early in his career.
If Moyes could capture such a precocious talent, though, it would not only be a huge coup for the Scot, it would seriously increase United’s current 11/2-rated chances of defending their Premier League crown.
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