Manchester City are ahead of Chelsea and Manchester United in the race for Atletico Madrid’s Koke, with reports from the Daily Star revealing that talks with the La Liga champions have already taken place.
The Spanish playmaker was one of the stars of the Rojiblancos’ stunning 2013/14 campaign, playing a major role in his side’s title success and run to the final of the Champions League.
A move away from Madrid was mooted over the summer, but the pass-master opted to stay at the Vicente Calderon.
However, City’s sporting director Txiki Begiristain is understood to have met with Atleti chiefs of late to discuss a deal for the 22-year-old.
Replacing veteran midfielder Yaya Toure is a pressing concern for the Premier League champions, who are keen to put plans in place at the end of the season.
Koke has a release clause of around £47m in his contract, but Atletico have shown a willingness to sell stars in the past, with Diego Costa having joined Chelsea in a £30m+ deal during the last window.