Manchester United are edging closer to making an opening bid for Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke. The Daily Star says United are ready to activate Koke's £16m release clause which is inserted into his current contract.

Atletico coach Diego Simeone is already searching for replacements in anticipation of Koke's sale.

Liverpool are also interested in the Spanish starlet, 21, however Brendan Rodgers is now prioritising a new forward after the in-form Daniel Sturridge was ruled out for eight weeks with an ankle injury.

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