Chelsea face Barcelona competition for potential John Obi Mikel replacement

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Chelsea and Barcelona are believed to be considering a move for Atletico Madrid playmaker Koke.

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The Spain international is a key figure for Diego Simeone’s side and has become something of an ideologue for the Colchoneros during their fantastic spell under the Argentine coach.

His consistency and ability to influence contests from deep has seen him linked to two of Europe’s giants, with Le 10 Sport reporting that both Jose Mourinho and Luis Enrique are keen on the 23-year-old.

The Pensioners are in the market for a new central midfielder this summer with the Portuguese coach having admitted that he is looking for reinforcements in this area of the pitch [Mirror].

Chelsea have been linked with the likes of Axel Witsel [Metro], Morgan Schneiderlin [Express] and Marco Verratti [Express], and their need for another central midfielder may increase with the suggestion that Nigerian international John Obi Mikel is headed for the exit door at Stamford Bridge.

The 28-year-old, who was signed by the West London outfit in 2006, has been linked with a move away from the club with both Al Ain and Fenerbahce linked to his services [Telegraph].

However, Chelsea may ultimately need to look beyond Atleti as they look to replace the long-serving Mikel.

According to Mundo Deportivo [via Le 10 Sport as above], a source close to Koke has confirmed that the international will remain at the Vicente Calderon next season.

Simeone himself has also acknowledged that he is not looking to offload the versatile star [Eurosport].

To date, Koke has won the Liga BBVA, the Copa del Rey, the Super Cup, the Europa League and the UEFA Super Cup, while he was a Champions League runner-up in 2014.

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