David Moyes was in the Spanish capital last month to scout the Atletico Madrid starlet, with three lawyers now dispatched to attempt to broker a deal for the 21-year-old.
|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 is 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 champion is especially keen to avoid a repeat, but coaxing Koke from Vicente Calderon will prove no easy task.
Koke, who in September expressed his delight at having committed his future to the club until 2018, harbors doubts about leaving a club so well placed in La Liga and the Champions League for one fighting to qualify for the same competition next year.
"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, is unwilling to pay a large transfer fee, mindful of the fact the club has already been quoted 25 million pounds for long-term target Leighton Baines.
The Old Trafford club has also expressed an interest in Inter's Colombian midfielder Fredy Guarin, but the player is understood to prefer a move to Chelsea.