Pep Guardiola wants to strengthen the midfield at Manchester City and according to Spanish newspaper Marca, he has identified one of Atletico Madrid’s most important players as the man to do just that.
Marca claims that 24-year-old Spain international Koke is the name being spoken of most behind the scenes at City, even after Guardiola made an unsuccessful attempt to sign him last summer. Despite that setback, Pep believes Koke has the perfect skill set for what he is after, combining the tenacity required in English football with the technical ability required to fit into the City side.
Koke signed a new deal with Atletico in 2014 and his current contract doesn’t expire until June 30, 2019. Making it even more difficult to prise Koke away from the Madrid club is the fact that he has a €150 million (£127.5 million) release clause, a price that even wealthy City would not be willing to meet. Therefore, City would have to enter complicated negotiations to try and sign a player Guardiola is so keen on.
Manchester United and Barcelona both made lucratives offer for Koke in 2014, but the midfielder stayed loyal to Los Colchoneros. Whether Txiki Begiristain and Pep Guardiola could tempt him to Manchester two years later is unknown, but at the age of 24 and with almost 300 appearances for Atletico Madrid, he is very experienced while still having his best years ahead of him.
In addition to his excellent passing range, Koke is also a set-piece specialist and hit double figures in the La Liga assists charts in the three seasons prior to this. He also scores the occasional goal, with 24 to his name during his time in the Atletico first team.
What do you think? Would Koke be a good signing for Manchester City?