Soccer Football – La Liga Santander – Espanyol vs Atletico Madrid – RCDE Stadium, Barcelona, Spain – December 22, 2017, Atletico Madrid's Koke is shown a yellow card by referee Mario Melero Lopez – REUTERS/Albert Gea
CAIRO – 1 January 2018: The CEO of Atlético de Madrid, Miguel Angel Gil Marin, confessed that Koke had signed a pre-contract with Real Madrid when he was 12 years old and that he had to “fight on a thousand fronts to retain the midfielder”.
"Koke had a hard time keeping him at a time when he had a pre-agreement with Real Madrid, I had to talk to a lot of people to undo that," Gil Marín confessed in an interview on Onda Cero’s 'El Transistor' Spanish radio program. Gil Marín also talked about the uncompleted signing of Saúl Niguez, Atlético Madrid’s midfielder, for Barcelona.
Besides Koke and Saúl, the Atlético manager spoke about the situation of Gabi and Juanfran. Gabi, the Atlético captain, has signed an agreement to renew his contract with the Rojiblanco club, which will end in June 2018, while Juanfran will continue at least one more season.
"Gabi signed a long time ago and we [will] talk with Juanfran," Gil Marin said.