Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho wants to bring Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke to Stamford Bridge this summer - but the deal will only happen if the player asks to leave the Vicente Calderon and the Blues agree to pay his €60 million release clause.
This is according to Spanish newspaper AS, who understand Chelsea's sporting director Michael Emanalo was sent to watch Koke in action earlier this month against Malaga at La Rosaleda.
The 23-year-old Spain international has emerged as Mourinho's top midfield target, but the chances of a deal being completed appear slim at this stage; Koke, who will only be allowed to leave Atletico if he submits a transfer request, is content with the reigning La Liga champions.
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Koke is happy at Atletico Madrid
The midfielder, who has scored two goals and provided nine assists in La Liga this season, snubbed the interest of various top European clubs - including Barcelona - to sign a new five-year deal with Atletico last season.
He remains happy working under Diego Simeone, who extended his own contract until 2020 last month, and has been told by the Argentine coach that he has a key role to play in the club's future.
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Chelsea hope to lure Koke to Stamford Bridge
Simeone regards Koke as an indispensable member of the Atletico Madrid squad and wants to keep him at all costs - but the chance to join Chelsea might prove tempting for the Spaniard for several reasons.
Koke's preferred position is in central midfield, but Simeone often plays him wide-left in order to accommodate Tiago and Gabi.
Simeone's plan is to play Koke in the middle on an increasingly regular basis in the near future, but Mourinho will offer the player the chance to play in central midfield on arrival at Stamford Bridge this summer.
Filipe Luis could be offered in the deal
Furthermore, Chelsea will offer Atletico Madrid the chance to re-sign left-back Filipe Luis as part of the deal.
Luis has failed to cement a regular first-team place in Mourinho's side, due to Cesar Azpilicueta, while Atletico have doubts over their current left-back options.
However, the Brazilian full-back did not leave the Calderon on the best terms and will turn 30 next season.
Bad news for Oscar?
Whether Chelsea will be prepared to pay the €60 million release clause is unclear, but an offer of that value could be submitted if Mourinho convinced the Blues' billionaire owner Roman Abramovich that Koke is a player who could prove decisive in the Champions League.
If Chelsea are successful in their pursuit of Koke, the Spaniard would be expected to line-up alongside Nemanja Matic in central midfield, with Cesc Fabregas potentially replacing Oscar at No. 10.
Chelsea fans: is Koke the player you need most this summer? Have your say in the comments below!
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