Koke is currently in high demand following his excellent performances for Atletico Madrid last season.Reuters

Premier League giants Chelsea and Manchester City are reportedly leading the race to sign Atletico Madrid's Koke, as both sides are reportedly ready to meet the £48 million in the player's release clause.

The 22-year-old midfielder, who is being tipped as the next big name in Spanish football, has been the target of a number of clubs for quite some time following his excellent performances for Atletico Madrid in the 2013/14.

Earlier in the summer, Manchester United and Barcelona were being heavily linked with a move for Koke, but a transfer failed to materialise and the midfielder ended up signing a new five-year deal with Atletico Madrid instead.

Now, according to the Daily Express, Manchester City and Chelsea have joined the race to sign Koke, with both sides ready to trigger the £48 million release clause in the Spaniard's contract.

Chelsea may have a slight advantage in signing the talented midfielder as Koke would probably be more comfortable moving to a club who have already signed his former teammates Diego Costa, Thibaut Courtois and Filipe Luis.

City will also probably not be able to spend much money on Koke due to them facing problems with UEFA's Financial Fair Play regulations.

Although Manchester United and Liverpool are also believed to be interested in the 22-year-old, Koke would probably not be interested in moving to these clubs as they will not be able to guarantee him Champions League football next season.

Meanwhile, former Barcelona president Joan Laporta has dismissed speculations of him wanting to bring Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho to the Catalan club if he gets re-elected at the Camp Nou.

Joan Laporta, who was in charge of Barcelona for seven years from 2003 and 2010, is eligible to get re-elected as the Barcelona president in 2016.

Recently there were reports of Laporta meeting up with renowned agent Jorge Mendes to discuss the appointment of Mourinho, who spent four years (1996-2000) at the Camp Nou, working under Sir Bobby Robson and Louis van Gaal. 

However, the 52-year-old Spaniard dismissed all the claims, insisting that he and Mendes never discussed about Mourinho.

"My style of coaching is with the [Johan] Cruyff philosophy," Laporta told Spanish newspaper L'Esportiu.

"Mourinho is a great professional and I respect him, but I did not mention him with Jorge Mendes, a person with whom I have a good friendship for many years. From time to time, we talk about things."

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