Liverpool target Koke outlines only reason he would leave Atletico Madrid


Koke has been targeted by Liverpool as a long-term replacement for Steven Gerrard.

The Atletico Madrid midfielder is one of the most highly regarded players in world football, and a report in AS claimed that he was wanted by Liverpool in the summer transfer window.

With club captain Steven Gerrard leaving Anfield, Brendan Rodgers has reportedly targeted the 23-year-old as a long term replacement for the high energy midfielder. Despite his young age, Koke has a wealth of talent and experience of top level football, and he would add energy and creativity to a midfield that will be severely lacking in both following Gerrard’s departure.

With a €60 million release clause, as per Football Espana, securing him would be an expensive investment, but one that could pay off for near enough the next decade. There is likely going to be a need for Liverpool to sell if they intend to fund a transfer for Koke - due to the restrictions of Financial Fair Play - which makes a move unlikely, but there is no doubt that he would be a fantastic signing for any Premier League club, especially one losing a player as valuable as Gerrard.

However, having progressed through the Atletico academy and into the first-team, Koke has no plans to leave the Vicente Calderón in the near future. Speaking to Marca - and quoted by Sport Witness - the midfielder outlined the only reason that he would leave Atletico, claiming that if the club needed to sell him due to financial reasons he would leave - but under no other circumstances.

Koke was quoted as saying: “It may never come, but if the club needs to sell, like with [Fernando] Torres, we would speak. The club does not need me to go and I don't want to go.”

Considering Torres was sold before Atletico were in the same money troubles as they are now, his situation was slightly different, but with the current problems, it would come as no surprise to see the midfielder turning up at Anfield one summer, following the path that Torres took to England.

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