It's a notion that's been growing for some time at the Theatre of Dreams, but Atletico Madrid's Koke has helped in furthering the argument that Manchester United no longer possess the same alluring potential of days gone by.
The Spaniard was linked with a move to Manchester United last summer, but upon being quizzed about a departure from the Vicente Calderon this year, Koke insists he remains settled in his current surroundings, per the Express' Anthony Chapman:
I am very happy and I do not think about leaving the club right now. I am happy at home, I want to continue here and that is why I have a long contract.
The rumours in the paper will have no impact on my game. I am young, but I am calm. Now is the best moment to enjoy being at Atletico. My future here will be long.
The contract Koke refers to ties him with Los Rojiblancos until the summer of 2018, but United nonetheless remain linked with the playmaker's talents, which have lent a major hand in Atletico's rise over recent years.
The playmaker's latest contribution was scoring the goal that gave his side a 1-0 win over Barcelona in the second leg of their Champions League quarter-final triumph, securing a place in this season's semi-finals.
WhoScored rated the midfielder as Man of the Match for his display in the clutch fixture:
It's bitter news for David Moyes' side, who could do with a player of Koke's attributes within their ranks. As well as being a capable asset out wide, the 22-year-old can play more centrally and through the core of attacking midfield, too.
Those talents have lent themselves well to Atleti's success this term, with Koke grabbing a sensational 13 assists this season, per Squawka, having created 56 scoring opportunities for his team in La Liga.
WhoScored also show how much Koke's scoring touch has improved of late, too:
Koke: Has now scored more goals (6) in La Liga this season than he had in the previous 2 seasons combined (5) #Atleti— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) March 29, 2014
It's something Manchester United may have to become used to hearing in the next few months as they come into a transfer window that could well make or break Moyes' reign at the Red Devils' helm.
Following the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson, the club have had a mediocre season to say the least. The reigning Premier League champions currently sit seventh in the English top flight and no longer have any silverware ambitions after being ousted from the Champions League quarter-finals at the hands of Bayern Munich last week.
Which club will win more trophies in the next five years?
The road to recovery will not be a short one. Moyes' roster may be almost identical to the one that managed to win last year's league title, but with Nemanja Vidic heading to Inter on a free transfer, Patrice Evra likely following him out the exit and other ageing stars present, this term has been a difficult transition.
As a result, there are numerous positional voids on the pitch that either need filling or are in need of an upgrade, with too many players currently standing that simply don't meet regular United requirements.
Granted, Koke would be a move in the right direction, but it's vital that the Reds don't linger on such rejections, as his isn't likely to be a lone example this summer. The kind of players Moyes will be chasing will undoubtedly have other, arguably better, options in their view.
However, it's not always the most sought-after signings who turn out to be the best ones and while superstar names are all well and good, there's value to be had in those lower profile characters.
The club must now make the best of the cards they have, in a way, dealt themselves and in a time of unfamiliar misfortune, redevelop the overwhelming magnetism that once made them so great.
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