Manchester City and Bayern Munich have also been linked with a move for the midfielder in today’s Spanish press.
Spanish newspaper Sport have linked Chelsea with a move for Atletico Madrid’s Koke.
The midfielder is also a top target for Barcelona, who considered a move for him in the summer, before they eventually plumped for Sevilla’s Ivan Rakitic.
But with the Croatian signing disappointing and Xavi growing ever closer to the end of his magnificent career, Sport insist that Bayer Leverkusen’s Lars Bender and Koke are Barca’s new summer priorities.
The paper thinks that the Blues, Manchester City and Bayern Munich will be the Catalan club’s biggest rivals for the player’s services.
Jose Mourinho has a settled squad, and have no obvious need for the midfielder, but Koke is very much a player the Portuguese coach likes – hard-working and dynamic, with great quality both on and off the ball.
The Atletico star could feature where Cesc Fabregas plays now, alongside Nemanja Matic at the base of midfield.
This would release Fabregas to move forward into the No.10 role, or allow the West Londoners to play a genuine 4-3-3 with the two Spaniards alongside their Serbian enforcer.
Koke has a release clause which Sport say has now risen to €60m, which is almost £48m. Chelsea will be in an excellent position to pay this however, having yesterday announced record profits of almost £20m.