PHOTO: David de Gea with reported £48m United target

Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea has shared a photograph with his Spanish teammate Koke.

Back in January, Manchester United were linked with one player more than most. Not Juan Mata - who arrived for a then-club-record fee - but Koke, who was shining for Atletico Madrid in what would ultimately be a La Liga-winning campaign.

The Spanish international was the dynamic midfielder United were crying out for. The problem for them was, he seemingly had no intention of leaving Diego Simeone’s side; and when you consider what they went on to achieve, that is not surprising.

Koke was again linked with United this summer, with Louis van Gaal said to be willing to offer the player’s £48million release-clause.

But again the player stressed he was happy in the Spanish capital and United ended up splashing the cash on just about every type of player except a box-to-box midfielder.

One senses that Koke will remain at Atletico for a while yet, and that when United do finally sign that quality midfielder they are crying out for, it will be Kevin Strootman rather than the Spanish star.

But for now the latter has been enjoying a break from international training to pose for a picture with United goalkeeper David de Gea.

The stopper is said to have bent the ear of a few of his Spanish teammates in recent times, in an attempt to convince them to join him at United. But with Koke, surely that will remain little more than a dream for those fans eager to see the 22-year-old at old Trafford.

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