Manchester United have a lot of work to do under Jose Mourinho this summer and the Portuguese boss is preparing for another flurry of transfer window activity.
Amidst all the deals that could bring fresh faces to Old Trafford, Manchester United will also be wary of losing key assists to other top sides in Europe- and goalkeeper David De Gea is one player in particular they’ll have to fend off interest in.
The Spaniard continues to attract a wealth of interest from Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid but United have a back-up plan if he does seal a move to the Santiago Bernabeu, with The Manchester Evening News stating Jan Oblak is keen on a switch to the Premier League giants.
Conceding just 18 goals in La Liga last season, 24-year-old Oblak is widely regarded to be one of the best goalkeepers in the world but Manchester United would have to face a huge sum to land his signature- likely one that would eclipse the world-record fee paid for a goalkeeper, which currently stands at the £33m Juventus paid for Gianluigi Buffon in 2001.
Money is not a problem for United though and the comments from a source close to the player will give the Red Devils a real boost if they elect to pursue Oblak’s signature.
What’s been said?
“I think for every player it is an honour to come to the UK and play for clubs like this one. A lot of top clubs from Europe wants the best goalkeeper in the world. In the UK, there are three of them who show an interest regarding Jan Oblak.”
“If De Gea goes back to Spain, everything is possible.”
How expensive would a deal be?
With a release-clause of £85m, and with Atletico Madrid having no intention to sell, securing Jan Oblak’s signature may be difficult. However, Atleti are set for a summer of change as they leave the Vicente Calderon and they could lose the services of key-men like Antoine Griezmann.
Oblak is close to both Griezmann and Jose Gimenez, both of whom have been linked with a move to Manchester United, and he may feel this summer is the right time to leave Atletico- with Real Madrid and Barcelona halting their rise in Spanish football.
On the continent, Atletico are going strong and are set to face Leicester City in the quarter-finals of the Champions League but the Spaniards have lost in the final in two of the last three seasons, so Oblak may feel his best chance of continental glory lies elsewhere.
That said, Manchester United may not be able to offer Champions League football and that could throw a spanner in the works of any potential deal.