Spain international midfielder dismisses Manchester United links


Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke has played down reports linking him with a move to Manchester United this summer.

The 22-year-old was a key member of the Los Rojiblancos side that won the La Liga title and finished runners-up in the Champions League to fierce local rivals Real Madrid.

Koke's form for Atleti has seen him included in Spain's World Cup squad as they bid to defend their 2010 crown, and his displays have reportedly caught the eye of United.

The Red Devils are keen to recruit this summer after a harrowing season that seen them finish in their lowest ever Premier League position of seventh, and their midfield came in for some fierce criticism at various points last term.

United were linked with a £49 million move to trigger Koke's release clause at the Vicente Calderon, but the Atletico star has distanced himself from the reports.

Instead Koke admitted that he was happy to remain with Diego Simeone's side next term as they look to add to last season's success.

Speaking at a press conference for La Roja ahead of the World Cup, Koke said: "Right now, I'm only thinking about playing football for the World Cup.

"[That is] is the most important [thing]. I have a contract with Atletico and I'm very much at home here. If Juanfran sees me as captain in the Vicente Calderon, you never know in life.

“Every day I’m learning more and [Xavi and Iniesta] have a lot I could learn from. What I’ve found the most surprising is how fast you need to think and see the play before the pass.

"I’m learning from them and everyone else and I’m trying to take everything I can from them. They have the mentality and skill made for football."

Vicente del Bosque's La Roja begin their World Cup defence against the Netherlands on Friday in a repeat of the 2010 World Cup final in South Africa.

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch