Manchester United and Barcelona enter race for La Liga starlet

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Manchester United and Barcelona have entered the race to sign Atletico Madrid starlet Koke, according to talkSPORT.

21-year-old Koke, who has allegedly been affectionally labelled as 'the new Xavi' by many supporters in Spain, has reportedly attracted the attention of the heavyweight duo after a series of scintillating performances for Diego Simeone's outfit as they look to assert themselves as credible and genuine La Liga title contenders.

The Spanish international was heavily linked with a potential switch to Brendan Rodgers' Liverpool earlier this week, but, according to talkSPORT, the Madrid-born prodigy is now attracting interest from Champions League duo United and Barca and the two could be set to submit bids to acquire his services in the new year.

Which club would come out victorious in such an intriguing race remains to be seen, but it is believed that Barca's move to allow Spain star David Villa to join Los Rojiblancos earlier this summer could give them the pivotal edge during any potential discussions for Koke. 

Villa, a prolific striker who has earned 92 senior international caps, has enjoyed an encouraging start to his career at the Vicente Calderon and even netted against his former club on his Atletico debut.

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