Koke put the rumours regarding his future at Atlético Madrid to bed on Thursday, announcing in an interview that he will be staying at his boyhood club for the coming season.
With the summer transfer window approaching, the 23 year-old has already been the subject of intense speculation from across the continent, but fans can rest easy as the canterano is going nowhere in a hurry.
Speaking at the 30th anniversary celebration of Spanish sports outlet Decimas, Koke told local media that he “guarantees 100% to be an Atlético player next year.”
It’s not hard to see why the young midfielder is so highly sought, but he has never been shy to declare his committment to the red and whites, and renewed his contract twice in the last two years.
Whilst at the event, Koke also spoke about Atleti’s end of season run in and the race for third, as well as Real Madrid’s exit from the Champions League last night.
“Madrid are strong at home and it’s difficult to get a result at the Bernabéu, but Juve did well and set out what they achieved to do,” he said.
“Congratulations to Llorente and especially Álvaro Morata. We have a good friendship and played together many years at youth level for Atleti and Spain. I am very happy for him, although I wanted an all-Spanish final.”
Whether there was a hint of irony at the end there we’ll let you decide, but his ability to remain diplomatic has to be admired. Truly Cholo-esque.
There was also finally an agreement this morning to call off the planned La Liga strike, meaning Atlético’s game against Barcelona this weekend will go ahead.
On what will be the one-year anniversary of our league win at the Camp Nou, Koke warned the Blaugrana that they won’t be allowed to regain their title without a fight.
“We hope that Barcelona don’t win the league at our ground. Our aim is to finish in third and we’re not a side who gives out favours,” he insisted.
“As always, we will be going out to win.”
Earlier in the week, English press linked Koke with a move to Premier League champions Chelsea, so the news of his continuity will come as a blow to José Mourinho’s team.
However, one blue that he could be linking up with again is Filipe Luís, who has struggled to hold down a starting place since moving to Stamford Bridge.
“Filipe is not just a great teammate, he is also a friend and would be welcome back here anytime.” said the Spanish international.
Having lost three of their prized assets to Chelsea last summer, the rojiblancos are reportedly pulling out all the stops to prevent a repeat occurrence.
Antoine Griezmann has also been linked with to West London, but according to the Daily Telegraph on Thursday, the duo will be offered new deals with improved buy-out clauses to fend off their interest.