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Manchester United were linked with several midfielders in the summer transfer window, but they failed to land any of their major targets and ultimately signed Fellaini on the transfer deadline day, paying over the odds.
The situation seems more or less the same in the winter transfer window as well, as David Moyes admitted it is hard to find the right players at right price in January.
Atletico Madrid’s Koke was a target of Manchester United this season, if the reports are to be believed. The 22-year-old local lad is enjoying a great season with the Rojiblancos and his impressive performances this season has not only helped Atletico to mount a serious title challenge but also has earned him national caps for Spain as well.
According to reports from Marca, Manchester United tried to lure him, but the Red Devils were told the player is not for sale. And it is primarily due to the other club’s interest in the player, Atletico were forced to re-negotiate Koke’s contract once more. His release clause has now jumped to €60m, and not many clubs would be willing to pay that amount of money at the moment.
Crux of the matter – Manchester United are out of the race in signing the young midfielder. However, Spanish newspaper, El Confidential yesterday reported that the rise of release clause might be a sign that a player could be sold.
According to the newspaper, Manchester United are leading the chase to sign him. They gave the examples of Fernando Torres and Sergio Aguero and how improved contracts earned them a move to foreign clubs at much higher price.
They speculate similar things might happen to Koke as well, as Atletico are still a team ‘with financial need’. The problem is, for the first time in many years, Atletico are challenging for the title and are in the European competitions too and ultimately it could boils down to the player’s desire to leave and the club’s success on pitch.