The Anfield club have been linked with the Atletico Madrid midfielder, but this may be a touch too ambitious.
Release clauses in certain players’ contracts have been all the rage in the British media of late, with Marco Reus’ supposed trigger fee the cause of many a speculative article.
Coined as the ‘new Xavi’, the Vicente Calderon man has been in excellent form for Diego Simeone’s outfit this term, and has become a driving force in the capital city side’s midfield.
Having made his international debut for Spain also, the rumours are that plenty of sides are weighing up a move for the star in the January transfer window.
Manchester United and Liverpool are thought to be the main contenders for the midfielder’s signature, with Barcelona and Real Madrid keeping tabs on the situation also.
For the Anfield club, it is certainly encouraging to see links to players of Koke’s calibre, as Brendan Rodgers’ revolution on Merseyside continues to gather pace.
However, despite the reported ambition, the likelihood of Liverpool signing the Spaniard is minimal – for a number of reasons.
Firstly, Koke is likely to stay at Atletico for the rest of the season. He has stated repeatedly his love for his boyhood club, and with the side in red and white on a roll, he will be keen to continue until the end of the campaign at least.
With suitors aplenty if his clause is met and he is interested in a move, playing in the Champions League is a minimum for his new club. Liverpool have ambitions, and every chance of breaking back into the Champions League qualification places this season. But until this is achieved, and with Atletico excelling in Europe’s top tournament this season, a move to Liverpool will not be overly appealing.
Finally, despite the interest of Premier League sides, the draw of Spain’s big two clubs could well be too much for Koke to resist.
He may well not have been labeled the new Xavi for no reason; with the experienced playmaker coming to the end of his playing days in the near future, Koke could be the perfect replacement for the Spain and Barcelona legend.
As such, Liverpool will more than likely have to look for other transfer targets to strengthen their squad in the new year.
image: © Ben Sutherland