Chelsea open talks to sign £48m Manchester United midfield target

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Chelsea have opened talks about signing the highly rated Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke, but could face a strong competition from Barcelona.

The Times journalist Matt Hughes writes that Koke is the latest Atletico player Chelsea are courting, but one that likely to prove the toughest deal to close.

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The Blues have already a deal to sign striker Diego Costa for a reported fee of £32m, a deal likely to be expected within next few days. Chelsea are also planning to bring in Filipe Luis and former player Tiago Mendes to Stamford Bridge in the summer. Thibaut Courtois, who spent the last three seasons on loan at the Madrid club, is expected to be back in London for the pre-season training.

Koke signed a new contract in January, that extends his stay at the Vicente Calderon till 2018, and has a reported £48m release clause. 

Barcelona are also interested in signing Koke, who is seen as an ideal replacement of Cesc Fabregas, although Atletico are under no pressure to sell their precious jewel.

Premier league rivals Manchester United are also thought to be interested in signing Koke, with The Metro even claiming last month, the Old Trafford giants are ready to activate his release clause.

While media publications are reporting that Chelsea are leading the race to sign Fabregas, The Times reports that the Blues would only move for the Spaniard should they fail to land other options, but they are focused on pursuing Koke at the moment. 

Given an option, who would you take – Koke or Fabregas? 

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