Man Utd chasing another Atletico Madrid custodian?
According to reports in Spain, Manchester United’s hunt for a potential goalkeeping replacement for David de Gea could lead the Premier League giants back to Atletico Madrid’s door, with Slovenian stopper Jan Oblak believed to be a top target.
Atleti’s bitter cross-capital rivals Real Madrid’s pursuit of academy graduate De Gea, who left the Vicente Calderon for Old Trafford in 2011, could soon cause trouble for their local competitors, then.
Diego Simeone continues to rebuild his side after almost every summer, with Diego Costa and Filipe Luis just two big names to be plucked from the Madrid club in recent seasons, so losing promising custodian Oblak would be yet another blow to the coach’s plans.
Real are reportedly keen to capture Red Devils number one De Gea before they embark on their pre-season tour, yet Man Utd (7/1 with Coral to win the 2015/16 FA Cup) are rumoured to be playing hardball and are expected to refuse to allow their post protector to leave until a top class replacement has been recruited.
Despite links to Chelsea veteran Petr Cech and Tottenham goalie Hugo Lloris, Louis van Gaal is said to favour the much younger Oblak, who arrived at Atleti from Portuguese giants Benfica last summer.
Only capped four times for his country, the 22-year-old has taken time to bed in at the Vicente Calderon, only enjoying an extended run at the end of the campaign when he kept seven clean sheets in 11 La Liga outings, stealing the number one spot from Miguel Angel Moya, who initially lost his place through injury.
Having cost Atletico around £14m, Man Utd would likely have to fork out a substantial fee for the talented goalie, meaning negotiations for De Gea could be set to get tougher for Los Blancos (5/1 to win the 2015/16 Champions League), despite the Spaniard having just one-year left on his current deal.
Watch flexible Oblak in action: