Liverpool are reportedly unwilling to meet Atletico Madrid’s £80 million-plus asking price for their goalkeeper Jan Oblak.
According to a report by Daily Mirror, Liverpool’s bid to sign Jan Oblak in the summer transfer window has hit troubled waters. The Reds are being priced out of a deal by Atletico Madrid, whose valuation of over £80 million for the Slovenian goalkeeper is being deemed as too steep.
Oblak has been a revelation since joining Atletico Madrid from Benfica, and is widely regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the world. A figure of consistency, the Slovenian has been a pivotal player for Los Rojiblancos and played a key role as they ended their recent trophy-less run with the Europa League triumph this past season.
With a staggering 29 clean sheets and only 28 goals conceded in 49 appearances, Oblak has the figures to back him as well, in addition to the spell bounding reactions and positional sense that make him as good as an impenetrable wall at times. Thus, unsurprisingly the 25-year-old is one of the most highly sought-after players in the transfer market, with Liverpool believed to be leading the race to sign him.
The Reds’ pursuit of a goalkeeper has been an on again, off again saga thanks to the inconsistent performances of their custodians. While Simon Mignolet is now well and truly a backup goalkeeper for Liverpool, the Belgian’s future at Anfield is uncertain.
Meanwhile, for large parts of the season it had looked like Loris Karius had banished Liverpool’s urgency for a new first-choice as he ended the Premier League campaign on a high. But, his performance in the Champions League final has brought back talks of the Merseyside club’s need for a top class custodian.
Reports of Karius suffering from a concussion in the Kiev finale against Real Madrid has brought him some sympathy, but Liverpool now look determined to fix their goalkeeping problem for good, making Oblak a viable target, for whom the Reds have made an enquiry.
However, they are hesitant to meet his Atletico Madrid release clause, which stands at over £80 million. But, with over three years left in Oblak’s current deal and considering his standing in world football, in addition to the current state of the market, the figure represents a great deal for Liverpool, or any other club that signs him, even though it’ll shatter the transfer record for a goalkeeper.
For all intents and purposes though, this looks like a deal that might not see the light of the day, with Liverpool possibly priced out of one. The Reds’ pursuit of their other big target, Alisson, too, seems to be running into troubled waters, with AS Roma asking for a steep price, while the player is determined to join Real Madrid instead.
So, it now remains to be seen who Liverpool snaps up to solve their goalkeeping woes, with Southampton shot stopper Alex McCarthy a surprise target as well. With all their big targets hard to get though, Karius might just remain the No. 1 next season as well.