Chelsea and Barcelona are set to do battle to secure the services of Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke, according to Sky Sports.
Koke has been one of the stars of La Liga this season, impressing at the heart of Atleti’s midfield and being one of their most prominent players in their title winning campaign.
His performances have now alerted the attentions of Chelsea and Barcelona, who are both reportedly keen to add the dynamic central midfielder to their squads.
Chelsea have set about raiding Diego Simeone’s side of their talent since the end of the season, with Felipe Luis, Tiago and Diego Costa all on the verge of moving to Stamford Bridge, according to reports.
The style that Simeone has utilised at Atletico is one which is not too dissimilar to the one Chelsea have adopted under Jose Mourinho, with the importance of being disciplined, well-drilled and combative high on the priorities list at both clubs.
And, as such, it is thought that Atleti’s players would not have to do too much adapting to Chelsea’s tactics if they were to join the club.
The only worry for the 22-year-old is how much football he would play at Stamford Bridge. Despite his obvious talents and potential, Mourinho is blessed with a wealth of talent in the defensive midfield position.
Nemanja Matic was imperious in that spot after joining from Benfica during the summer meaning it would be very hard for him to dislodge the Serbian, whilst Ramires’s energy was also key to Chelsea’s strategy.
However, if he was to join Barcelona he is likely to find a route to the first-team much easier.
The Catalan giants are looking to cash in on Cesc Fabregas, who has also been linked with a move to Chelsea in recent times, and see Koke as his ideal replacement.
The Barcelona squad is evidently in need of freshening up and with Andres Iniesta and Xavi both starting to age, Koke would come in as the main-man in central midfield for the club if he was to join, meaning he may be better off staying in Spain.
Both sides may find it hard to secure their target, though, with Koke recently saying that he wants to stay with Atletico.
In an interview with the Spanish press, he said: “I have a long-term contract with Atlético. I am happy, this is my home. It’s a great pride to me that big clubs come for me, but I’m happy and this is my home.”
Convincing Koke to leave Atletico, therefore, may be a tough task, but with both clubs able to offer higher wages than he is currently on, it remains to be seen whether the lure of an increased contract will be enough to make him move elsewhere.