Chelsea have started the process of launching a move to sign Atletico Madrid star Koke, according to Sky Sports.
Barcelona are also believed to be in a similar position to the Blues as they look to replace the departing Cesc Fabregas.
Jose Mourinho is keen to strengthen his squad this summer and is keen to sign the 22-year-old despite the fact Chelsea have been offered the chance to sign Fabregas for €30m.
Koke played a pivotal role in the heart of Atletico's midfield this season as the Spanish club clined the La Liga title and narrowly missed out on Champions League glory. His fine playmaking skills has earned him a place in Spain's World Cup squad and attracted interest from a host of top clubs.
Manchester United were heavily linked with a move for Koke last week as Spanish reports suggested the Red Devils were not put off by the player's €60m release clause.
Louis van Gaal is looking to revitalise a faltering Red Devils side and was ready to blow a chunk of his £150m budget on the Spanish playmaker.
However it seems that Chelsea have stolen a march on their Premier League rivals as Mourinho looks to take advantage of the fact that Manchester United still don't technically have a manager.
Van Gaal must first complete his World Cup campaign with the Netherlands before taking the reins at Old Trafford. Until then Chelsea remain favourites to seal Koke ahead of United.
Their chances of signing him, however, will be dramatically affected by Barcelona's attempts to sell Fabregas, who has been linked with Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool, Manchester City, Arsenal and Tottenham.