Atletico Madrid are so desperate to keep star-man Koke out of the clutches of Manchester United and Barcelona that they will offer him a lucrative pay-rise as part of a new contract, despite the fact he agreed a new deal as recently as January.
According to Spanish publication Marca, which has strong ties in Madrid, Atletico have put a proposal to Koke which would see his current wages rise from €2.5million-a-year to €4.5million-a-year, although his release clause of €60million will stay untouched. Diego Simeone’s inspired La Liga outfit have worked wonders this season in Spain, and naturally plenty of his players are garnering attention from some of Europe’s top sides.
However unlike Diego Costa - who reportedly completed a medical with Chelsea today - and Filipe Luis, who is also being lined up for a move to Stamford Bridge, Koke is considered indispensable at the Vicente Calderon, and Atletico chiefs are worried that the likes of Louis van Gaal and Luis Enrique would look to make the 22-year-old a figurehead in their respective sides moving forward. Capable of scoring goals and comfortable in creating opportunities for others, the young Spaniard is exactly the type of player both Barcelona - who are looking to find a successor for Xavi - and United - who need to install flamboyance into their midfield - could do with.
Having become a senior player for Atletico in recent seasons, despite his tender age, Koke will be offered a lucrative deal in the hope that he will outright reject the chance to move elsewhere. With his keenest suitors rumoured to be happy to dispense with the €60million needed to guarantee negotiations with the player himself, the Spanish champions will need to move quickly to tie their man down.