Koke and Juanfran sign new deals at Atletico

Barcelona's pursuit of Atletico Madrid and Spain midfielder Koke was dealt a blow on Wednesday when the 22-year-old signed a new deal with his club.

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The Catalan club see Koke as a long-term replacement for Xavi Hernandez, who is expected to leave Camp Nou this summer, and he has been tipped to fill the same role for the national side as well.

However, in a statement released on their website, Atletico may well have tempered Barca's interest for the time being.

Right-back Juanfran also penned a new deal.

"Koke and Juanfran have extended their contracts with our club until 2019 and 2018 respectively," the statement read. 

"Both players are key pieces in our recent successes and their Atletico renewals are great news for our club."

A Madrid-boy, Koke has always made it clear that he enjoys playing at the Vicente Calderon and is in no rush to leave in a bid to further his career.

"[Atletico fans] know how I am and how I feel about Atletico. I want to stay here and everyone knows it," he said in an interview with newspaper 'Marca' in May.

"I see myself at Atletico. I always dreamed of being in the Atletico first team and wearing the shirt of Spain."

His decision to commit is a big boost to Diego Simeone's la Liga-winning side, with Thibaut Courtois and Diego Costa expected to headline a list of summer departures.



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