Chelsea have reportedly hatched a plan to sign Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak by offering Kepa Arrizabalaga in a player plus cash deal.
According to Mirror, Jan Oblak has emerged as a top target for Chelsea this summer. The Atletico Madrid goalkeeper is believed to be an ideal candidate for Frank Lampard as he prepares for life without Kepa Arrizabalaga in the upcoming campaign.
Oblak currently has a release clause of £120 million. But, Chelsea value him at around £100 million and they are willing to churn out a potential player plus cash deal by offering Kepa in return.
Atletico Madrid, meanwhile, are not fond of the idea of selling their prized goalkeeper. However, the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic has seriously affected their finances, meaning they might be forced to get rid of Oblak, theoretically allowing Chelsea to come out on top, in his pursuit.
Oblak is widely regarded as one of the best goalkeepers in the world right now. Since joining Atletico Madrid back in 2014 in a €16 million move from SL Benfica, he has enjoyed an enormous amount of success, having made 254 competitive appearances for the club.
The Slovenian has performed consistently week in week out, not just in La Liga but also in the Champions League. His contributions in between the sticks were critical in helping Los Colchoneros reach the final of the coveted competition back in 2016. He also helped Atleti maintain their status as a European giant under Diego Simeone.
Kepa, in contrast, has struggled to live up to the whopping £71 million transfer fee that Chelsea paid to sign him. This season, in particular, the Spaniard has put in a number of woeful displays in between the sticks, often appearing incompetent and making several individual errors.
In fact, the ex-Athletic Bilbao ‘keeper has a save percentage of just 56% – lower than any other regular goalkeeper in the Premier League this season. To put that into perspective, Oblak’s save percentage of 76.3% is only bettered by Unai Simon and Thibaut Courtois, who has arguably been the best goalkeeper in Europe’s top five leagues this campaign. (Source – FBRef)
Hence, there is no wonder why Chelsea are so willing to offload Kepa this summer. And Oblak, in that regard, is the best replacement they could possibly get. The Slovenian international does have the quality to compete against the likes of Alisson and Ederson and could add much more solidity into the Chelsea back-line.
However, it remains to be seen whether or not the Blues will be able to sign Oblak as they are more than likely to face stiff competition. Manchester United, for one, were linked with a move for the Atletico Madrid star last summer when David de Gea was facing an uncertain future at the club. It now remains to be seen what the future holds for Oblak, Kepa and Chelsea