By Paul Clennam
Manchester United have sent a delegation to Madrid in an effort to thrash out a deal for Atletico star Koke, Goal can reveal.
|THE VIEW FROM SPAIN
|Miguel Churruca, Goal Spain
Personally, I do not expect Koke to leave Atletico Madrid - not during the January transfer window anyway.
Diego Simeone's side are fighting it out with Barcelona and Real Madrid for the Liga title this season - so there is no reason for the Argentine manager to allow one of his key players to leave.
"The club have been monitoring his progress for a number of months and scouts have watched him a handful of times," a source told Goal.
Having identified the 21-year-old as a player capable of adding much needed creativity to his side, Moyes, keen to play a far greater role in United’s transfer dealings this winter, has dispatched three of the club's transfer brokers to Spain with a view to securing the latest gem off the Spanish production line.
Having tried and failed to sign three high-profile targets in the summer - Ander Herrera, Cesc Fabregas and Thiago Alacantara - the Premier League champions are especially keen to avoid a repeat, but coaxing Koke from Vicente Calderon will prove no easy task.
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"I am happy to give more years to Atletico," Koke said back in September. "I am at the team of my life and I cannot ask for more.
"I want to continue working to try bring new success and better achievements than last year. I am very happy."
United, meanwhile, are unwilling to pay a large transfer fee, mindful of the fact they have already been quoted £25 million for long-term target Leighton Baines.
The Old Trafford club have also expressed an interest in Inter's Colombian midfielder Fredy Guarin, but the player is understood to prefer a move to Chelsea.