Barcelona goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen is being eyed by Atletico Madrid as a potential replacement for Jan Oblak.
Barcelona star and Netherlands international Jasper Cillesen has emerged as a summer transfer target for fellow La Liga side Atletico Madrid, as per a report from Spanish outlet Don Balon.
Atletico Madrid are understood to be preparing for the departure of current first-choice goalkeeper Jan Oblak, amid reports that the French heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain are planning to make the Slovenian the world’s most expensive goalkeeper, by meeting his €100 million release clause.
Apart from PSG, Oblak is also being monitored by English giants Arsenal and Liverpool as well, which does cast doubts over his long-term future with Los Rojiblancos. And manager Diego Simeone wants to address that by bringing in Cillessen from rivals Barcelona at the end of the season.
The 28-year old Dutchman arrived at the Camp Nou from AFC Ajax in the summer of 2016, but has found himself acting as a deputy to current No.1 Marc-Andre ter Stegen. And his situation is unlikely to improve, given how sensational the German international has been in the ongoing season.
Till date, Cillessen has managed to just make 19 appearances for Barcelona, nine of which have come in the 2017/18 campaign.
However, despite the lack of his first-team opportunities with the Catalans, his quality is undoubted, as witnessed during the recently concluded international break when Cillessen starred for the Netherlands in the friendly victory over Portugal.
Cillessen has a contract with Barcelona that runs till the summer of 2021, but a chance of playing regular first-team football could appeal to the player strongly. And Atletico would also reap great benefits from the deal, given the player’s quality and proven pedigree.
And it would make great sense for the club from the financial point of view as well, considering that PSG are willing to meet Oblak’s €100 million buyout clause and Atletico, in turn, will have to invest just €30 million to sign Cillessen from Barcelona.
Atletico’s interest in Cillessen also gives Barcelona an edge in their pursuit of star striker Antoine Griezmann. It is no secret that the Catalans have been hot on the heels of the Frenchman and remain extremely keen to sign him from the Spanish capital side ahead of the next season. And now, they can use Cillessen as a bargaining chip in any negotiations for Griezmann.
The report, however, claims that Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde isn’t keen on selling Cillessen at the end of the season. But that could change if Atletico demand the 28-year old be part of a deal that would see Griezmann move the other way.