Blues hope to tempt Atletico into midfielder sale with De Bruyne offer.
Chelsea are ready to offer unsettled midfielder Kevin De Bruyne to Atletico Madrid in the hope of securing the services of exciting youngster Koke in return, CaughtOffside understands.
The Blues are keen to beat the likes of Manchester United and Barcelona to the signing of the young Spanish playmaker, who is rated as one of the best up-and-coming talents in La Liga at the moment after his recent displays for Atletico.
Still only 21, Koke has been a regular in the side since 2011, and looks to be improving all the time with some particularly strong performances this season. The midfield starlet has already contributed 2 goals and 8 assists in just 13 appearances for Diego Simeone’s side this term, catching the eye of some of Europe’s top clubs.
One of many talented midfield players to be coming out of Spanish football at the moment, Koke has been likened to the likes of Barcelona pair Xavi and Andres Iniesta, and could be seen as a long-term replacement for the duo in their midfield, though United are also desperate to sign a creative playmaker of this kind when the transfer window re-opens in January.
Chelsea are ready to join the chase though, and feel they could tempt Atletico into a sale with the promise of De Bruyne heading in the other direction.
The Belgian youngster is a highly rated talent, but appears to be out of favour with Jose Mourinho this season after being made to train with the club’s Under-21 side, leading to much speculation that he could be set for an exit this winter.
After an impressive loan stint with Werder Bremen last season, the 22-year-old is wanted back in the Bundesliga, but could also be a good like-for-like replacement for Koke at Atletico, as Simeone will want to find a quick replacement for the Spaniard’s creativity.
De Bruyne managed 10 goals and 10 assists for Bremen last season, and although he plays in a slightly more advanced role than Koke, he could be a good addition for Atletico as they aim to catch the big two and mount a serious title challenge in La Liga.
The ambitious Madrid outfit were also linked with Chelsea star Juan Mata during the summer, and although that seems unlikely now as the former Valencia man has worked his way back into the starting lineup at Stamford Bridge, De Bruyne could prove a good alternative.
Chelsea have also been linked with the likes of Xabi Alonso and Daniele De Rossi in recent times as Mourinho seeks a player to dictate his side’s temp from deep, and Koke may now be his top target for this part of his team.
The Blues have also been monitoring Diego Costa’s situation at Atletico, though they may now have cooled their interest in the prolific striker with Fernando Torres enjoying something of a renaissance in form at the moment.