Koke commits to Atletico
Atletico Madrid midfielder Koke has dealt a blow to Barcelona by renewing his contract with the Primera Division champions.
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The 22-year-old is seen as the future of the Spanish national side and Barca are believed to view him as a long term replacement for Xavi Hernandez, who is expected to follow Chelsea-bound Cesc Fabregas out the Nou Camp door this summer.
However, local boy Koke has always said he is committed to staying with his boyhood club and has backed his words up with this renewal, which commits him to Atletico until 2019.
Diego Simeone's side have also tied down the future of right back Juanfran, who has penned a new deal until 2018.
"Koke and Juanfran have extended their contracts with our club until 2019 and 2018 respectively," said a statement on the Atletico website. "Both players are key pieces in our recent successes and their Atletico renewals are great news for our club."
Both Juanfran and Koke were incremental to Atletico's capture of the league title and their contract renewals reverse a worrying trend for the club, who have already waved goodbye to David Villa and look set to lose Thibaut Courtois and Diego Costa to Chelsea.