Manchester United have been told by Atletico Madrid that they will only let Koke leave for €60 million according to El Confidencial.
David Moyes was in attendance as Atletico took on FC Porto in December, where Koke impressed from a deep lying midfielder role, and had confirmed talks with Atletico’s director despite being in the middle of a busy fixture schedule.
Now, according to El Confidencial’s Antonio Sanz, Atletico have placed a €60 million price tag on his head which is far in excess of the reported €35 million release clause that was recently added into his contract, which is strange as United would only have to meet his release clause to make the decision up to Koke. There are also those that believe a £30 million bid from United is in the pipeline.
This season, Koke has lit up La Liga with his eight assists helping Atletico to 46 points in the league, level with Barcelona and five points clear of Real Madrid. He was rewarded for his improvement with a new contract at Atletico and is now on the verge of the Spain squad ahead of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
His form has made him one of the most coveted young players in European football and because of their good form, Atletico would likely be very reluctant to let Koke leave in January as would the player if it jeopardised his position with the Spain side.
However, money talks in football and Atletico manager Diego Simeone has admitted that player’s wages will have to be amended if they reach the Champions League, which indicates some of their star men could currently earn much better deals elsewhere.
He said: “If we reach the Champions League, you have to scratch your pocket. Such players should earn more.”
January isn’t usually a window where big moves happen but United aren’t in a traditional position this year either, so Moyes may be ready to splash the cash he didn’t in the summer in order to inject some much needed life into the squad.