Atlético have been quietly locked in negotiations with Koke’s agent Iñaki Espizua, and the club could announce this week that the Spain international has renewed for four or five years with a substantial pay rise and an increased buyout clause - which currently is set at €150 million. Koke’s initial contract was set to expire in 2019, and he had drawn interest from Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City this past winter along with Barcelona and Manchester United over the past few years. However, the impending renewal could be viewed as a step toward keeping him at the club for life.
The Vallecas native joined Atlético’s academy at eight years old, made his debut in September 2009 and has since gone on to make 220 league appearances - and 323 appearances in all competitions - for los colchoneros. The latter figure places Koke on the precipice of cracking the club’s top ten list in appearances made at just 25 years old. He’s scored 28 goals and laid on 76 assists over his seven full seasons.
Koke scored four goals and registered eight assists in an uneven 2016-17 Liga Santander season. He was widely expected to transition full-time into a central midfield role, but his unconvincing form in the center of the park left Atlético too open at the back; eventually, Diego Simeone had to move him back to a wing. He is not yet a midfield general and still faces an uncertain positional future, but Koke’s passing, versatility and work rate have made him one of the first names on Simeone’s team sheet week in and week out over the past several seasons. The club seems to believe firmly that he will bounce back next season and grow into a leadership role over the coming seasons.
UPDATE: it’s official - Koke has renewed to 2024.