Atletico Madrid’s young prodigy Koke, is wanted by La Liga giants Barcelona the Daily Express report.
Since establishing his place in the starting line-up for Diego Simeone’s title winning side, Koke has been linked for a whole host of clubs from all over the world, most notably: Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool.
From the start of Luis Enrique tenure at the Catalan club, he has been heavily criticised after he has struggled to find a consistent team and has conceded the top spot in La Liga to bitter rivals Madrid, following a disappoint 3-1 defeat in the El Clasico.
Koke along with Bayer Leverkusen central midfielder Lars Bender have been identified as the main targets for Enrique at the Nou Camp. Current Barca midfielders, Sergio Busquests and new signing Ivan Rakitic, who was incidentally dropped for the El Clasico, have also come under scrutiny.
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The Catalan giants midfield in the Guardiola era was something teams would fear with the likes of Xavi, Iniesta and Busquests. With new signings and a new manager in place, the Spanish team have failed to re-build sufficiently and put together a European conquering set up.
Baring the sensational move for club record signing, Luis Suarez from Liverpool for a reported £75million, Koke was high up on the list for Barca this past summer.
With club icon, Xavi on the brink of leaving the club after nearly 17 years on the first team, the club have identified Koke as the ‘perfect replacement’. Koke brings youth, power, pace, energy, outstanding ability along with a eagle eye for a pass; all attributes that Xavi possessed in his glory days for the 22 time La Liga champions.
The young Atletico midfielder may be swayed towards a move to the Nou Camp over Premier League sides Chelsea and Manchester United over the limited playing time he may get in England.
Chelsea, who have been in the hunt for Koke for a long time, recently acquired midfield maestro, Cesc Fabregas from Barcelona in the summer, whilst Man Utd signed Angel Di Maria from Real Madrid for a club record fee.