Arsenal have reportedly joined the race to sign Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak, but appear to face a huge task trying to bring him to the Emirates, Goal reports.
The 23-year-old has quickly established himself as one of Europe’s most talented goalkeepers during his time in La Liga and Goal reports that several of the continent’s heavyweights have registered an interest.
The Slovenian shot-stopper was brought in as a replacement for Thibaut Courtois, who mightily impressed during his lengthy loan spell at the Vicente Calderon. That Oblak is now considered a better goalkeeper than his predecessor speaks volumes as to how superbly he’s played in his time in Spain.
The Gunners are one such side, Goal reports, but will still face an uphill battle trying to bag his signature.
Goal adds that Atletico are not willing to accept any offer for the Slovenia international, and thus, it would take an offer that triggers his £85m release clause to set the wheels in motion regarding a move.
While that price would be extremely steep, it is not difficult to see why some Arsenal fans would be delighted to see Oblak arrive at some point and become Petr Cech’s long-term successor.
The former Benfica man has kept 10 clean sheets in just 18 appearances in all competitions and only Villarreal have conceded fewer goals than Diego Simeone’s men in the top flight this term.
Arsene Wenger has never been too keen to splash a huge amount of cash. His most expensive signing remains Mesut Ozil, who signed from Real way back in 2013, and considering the inflated prices of the modern transfer market since then, it’s remarkable that the German has remained Wenger’s costliest purchase. It’s hard to imagine that he would be open to breaking the world transfer record for a goalkeeper.
There’s also been little to suggest Oblak would even consider leaving Atletico. He’s playing first-team football each week, and has one of the best defences in Spain and Europe in front of him, which is always likely to improve his statistics.
His lack of club honours will also motivate him to stay on for a few more years at Atleti, as a failed title challenge and Champions League runners-up medal from last season is bound to leave him hungry to taste success in these competitions with his current club.
But you can never say never in football, and the likelihood that Europe’s top clubs are keeping an eye on Oblak is strong. But Atletico, with a transfer ban looming, have no reason to sell such a prized asset.