Koke and Juanfran commit to Atletico
Atletico Madrid have announced long-term contract extensions for Koke and Juanfran Torres, ending speculation that the pair could leave the Estadio Vicente Calderon this summer.
Koke, 22, was in particular the subject of intense speculation over recent weeks and months, with Barcelona thought to be considering paying his 60 million euro release clause and taking him to the Camp Nou as a potential long-term replacement for Xavi Hernandez.
The homegrown midfielder, who had his last contract in September, was also reported to be attracting the interest of Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Manchester United.
There had also been some speculation that Juanfran, 29, could move on this summer, as the right-back's excellent performances in the Champions League against Chelsea had piqued interest in England.
However, a statement on Atletico's official website, released the day after the duo had returned from Spain's disastrous World Cup campaign in Brazil, confirmed that both players had committed their future to the club.
"Koke and Juanfran have extended their contracts with our club until 2019 and 2018 respectively," the statement said. "The two players are basic pieces in the recent rojiblancos successes and the deals are great news for our club. Jorge Resurreccion (Koke) came through our youth system to become one of the standard-bearers of the current Atletico Madrid.
"A key piece in the La Liga and Copa del Rey trophies won in the last two years, the midfielder has improved spectacularly to where he stands out as one of the best players in our league and in Europe, and has played in the recent World Cup in Brazil with the national team.
"For his part, Juanfran Torres joined the rojiblanca outfit during the winter transfer window of the 2010-11 season from Osasuna. The alicantino has become one of the best right-backs in La Liga and Europe over the last three seasons, winning four trophies with our team and Euro 2012 with Spain, while he also took part in the World Cup in Brazil."
The statements did not mention whether either player's release clause had been affected by the signing of their new deals. AS did report, however, that Koke's salary had been increased to six million euros a year.
The Madrid-based newspaper also claimed that Uruguay centre-back Diego Godin will be the next player to commit his future to the club.