Koke and Manchester United: another example of unrequited transfer-window-affection or the start of a beautiful relationship?
Given Atletico Madrid’s campaign to date, a January move for one of Europe’s hottest midfield properties seems highly unlikely. But a summer move may just happen, if United offer enough money and the 21-year-old opts for a new challenge.
Regardless of the future, a face from the Spanish side’s past has had his say on Koke, and he rates him very highly indeed.
Milinko Pantic is a legend among Atletico fans. Under their former coach Raddy Antic, he proved to be an outstanding signing, inspiring them to a league and cup double in 1996.
He later worked with the club’s youth teams before moving on to coach the club’s B side. Now manager of Baku FC, Pantic has been talking to Spanish newspaper AS about the reported United target, and he was effusive in his praise.
“I’m happy for him,” Pantic said. “He’s great and I am sure he will become better than me. He is much younger and has a great future.
“I arrived at Atletico at the end of my career but he has it all ahead of him. He is an example for all home-grown players.”
Pantic also referred to Koke as coach Diego Simeone’s “right hand”, saying he is as important to the current Atletico side as he was under Antic.
And finally, when asked about the rest of this season, Pantic said his former club were contenders for all three titles they are currently competing for. When you consider that, surely United have no chance of prising away one of their star-men.
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