A return to England for Cesc Fabregas could well be a possibility as Barcelona plan to offer Atletico Madrid €40m for attacking midfielder Koke, according to Spanish daily Sport.
Fabregas has been a target for Manchester United since last summer and, as reported by the Daily Mail earlier this week, is also on the list of transfer targets new manager Louis van Gaal has given to the club.
With Luis Enrique taking over the helm at the Camp Nou, sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta sees Koke as an ideal signing for Barcelona following a trophy-less campaign these reports suggest.
The 22-year-old has a buyout clause of €60m but Zubizarreta hopes to negotiate a lower sum for the player who has made 57 appearances, scoring seven times and providing 17 assists during Atletico’s memorable season under Diego Simeone, in which they claimed their first league title since 1996 and reached tomorrow’s European Cup final for the first time in 40 years.
If Barcelona were to spend so big on Koke, it would certainly place a question mark over the future of Fabregas given that he plays in a very similar role to Koke. Also, due to Financial Fair Play, Barcelona could look to balance the books with a Fabregas sale.
Despite having a transfer ban suspended by FIFA pending an appeal for breaching rules relating to youth players, Barcelona do not have much bargaining power with Atletico who would be in no rush to sell, especially if they won the Champions League this weekend, which means Barcelona might be forced to pay the full €60m if they wanted Koke.