As the January transfer window approached, Manchester United were linked with one midfielder more than any other – Atletico Madrid’s Koke.
The Spaniard was enjoying an outstanding campaign with Diego Simeone’s side, and given his ability in central midfield – and United’s lack of such things – it made sense that David Moyes’ side would at least be interested.
Of course, nothing came of that interest and Moyes has since departed, but despite Koke recently signing a new deal in Madrid, one appointment could make the impossible transfer suddenly possible.
Simeone is just one of a number of managers to find his name thrown into the ring in the hypothetical battle to become Moyes’ replacement.
In truth it appears less a battle and more a case of who the Glazers can actually get – with the likes of Jurgen Klopp and Carlo Ancelotti ruling themselves out of the running at the earliest opportunity.
But Simeone was less categorical, instead focusing – quite rightly – on Atletico’s upcoming Champions League semi-final against Chelsea.
So could he be heading to United this summer? And could he bring Koke with him?
Probably not. But the Glazers have a big decision to make in the coming weeks – appoint a young manager with the ability to manage United (like Simeone or Klopp) or a wise-head who only has limited time before he will need to be replaced himself (such as van Gaal).
When you consider that, Simeone does appear to be the best and most likely option. And if he can convince United to part with £50million to pay Koke’s release-clause (yes, really!) the young Spaniard who has played such a vital role for Atleti this season might…just might…join him.