Koke Reportedly Lined Up for January Transfer Bid by Manchester United

Christopher AtkinsContributor IOctober 16, 2013

MADRID, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 28: Angel Di Maria (L) of Real Madrid CF competes for the ball with Koke (R) of Atletico de Madrid during the La Liga match between Real Madrid CF and Club Atletico de Madrid at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on September 28, 2013 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Manchester United are to make a January offer for Atletico Madrid star Koke, according to multiple reports on Wednesday morning.

Koke, 21, has begun the 2013-14 campaign in fine style for his club and has stepped up to the senior Spanish national team, having won the European Championship at Under-21 level this summer.

The Daily Mail's John Edwards reports:

Manchester United are ready to revive their interest in the 'new Xavi of Spanish football' by launching a January bid for Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke.

The 21-year old was on former United manager Sir Alex Ferguson's radar last season after establishing himself at the heart of Atletico's midfield with a string of assured performances.

He has continued in the same vein this season, steering Atletico into second place in the league behind Barcelona and even forcing his way into the senior Spain team.

Central midfield continues to be a problem position for United, despite the summer addition of Belgium's Marouane Fellaini from Everton. With Tom Cleverley inconsistent and Anderson having regressed after long periods of injury, it would be no surprise to see the club look elsewhere in January.

With a release fee of just over £16 million, as also reported by Nick Lustig of the Daily Star, Koke is a potential bargain for whichever side decides to move for his services this winter.

A versatile midfielder, Koke can play either in the centre or on either flank, with his precise passing and desire to pressure opponents in defence making him an asset wherever he may be on the pitch.

For the Spain Under-21 side this summer, he occupied a deep-lying role alongside Real Madrid's Asier Illarramendi—although he was given license to break forward. At Atletico, meanwhile, he has been more advanced but generally used tucked in on either side of a midfield four.

His long-term future, though, almost certainly lies as a central midfielder, and that is inevitably where United would see him fitting in.

A mature player for his age, Koke's willingness to work defensively will have impressed United scouts, but it is his ability to create and control play that will be most attractive.

Besides his two goals, Koke has six La Liga assists in seven starts this season, while also creating a further 2.8 chances per game for his side, according to WhoScored.

Having played for Atletico this season, the Spaniard would be ineligible in this season's Champions League were he to move. If he is thinking long-term, though, Moyes will worry little when in the knowledge that £16 million is a bargain for a potential star of world football.