Barça still working on Atletico Madrid's Koke
Barcelona hope their good relationship with Atletico Madrid could help them land Koke before the transfer window shuts later this month
Relations between Barcelona and Atletico Madrid are really good at the moment. A sign of that came on Tuesday, when a representative of Atletico (Clemente Villaverde) supported Barcelona's defence of La Masia after the FIFA ban.
These good relations have strengthened during negotiations this summer to incorporate Atleti star Koke at Barça. Initially, Barça had been interested in the midfielder to cover the exit of Xavi. However, the 22-year-old decided to stay at the Vicente Calderon for one more year and Barcelona respected that.
At no moment during the negotiations did a problem arrive between any of the three parties involved. It was left open, with all three happy to meet again at the end of the new season to discuss the transfer once more.
CHANGE OF PLAN
Things have changed since then, though. FIFA have upheld their ban on Barcelona's transfer activity and the Catalan club are unable to sign players, once the current window closes, until January 2016. Keeping in mind the good relations between the two clubs, Barçá are ready to question Atleti and Koke again about the possible signing.
If both the player and the Rojiblancos are receptive, Barça will be ready to make an offer for the services of Koke. If not, Barcelona will close the door on the player, who would be the perfect replacement for Xavi next summer.
There have been no wars between these two "friendly" clubs over the future star of Spanish football.
If Koke and Atleti are open to talking, Barcelona will study a formula in which all three parties can come out happy from the operation. One possibility would be to sign the player this summer and loan him back to the Spanish capital. He could then joing Barça next summer.
The Catalan club, however, need it clearing up that FIFA will not block this kind of operation.
The cost of the transfer would be around €50million. Koke's current clause is €60m but the good relations mean a deal just below that should be accpeted by Atletico. If Xavi decides to leave next summer, Koke is the man Barça are desperate to have in the middle of the pitch as his substitute.