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United target 'new Xavi' Koke

ESPN staff
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Koke helped Atletico see off Gareth Bale and co in the Madrid derby © Getty Images
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Manchester United are ready to launch a £16 million raid for Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke in the January transfer window.

Sir Alex Ferguson had followed Koke - who is seen as a potential successor to Xavi in the Spanish national team - last season as the 21-year-old established himself in the Atletico starting line-up.

Koke has picked up where he left off by helping to take Atletico second in La Liga behind Barcelona this season, with his form seeing him breaking into the senior Spain set-up.

Now United have revived their interest, though Barcelona are also keen to secure his services, with Koke's contract containing a release clause of just £16 million.

United have cooled on Athletic Bilbao's Ander Herrera after failing to sign him in the summer, with the midfielder's form dropping this season.

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