Manchester United could be involved in a transfer duel with Chelsea for the services of Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak, who is tipped to leave the club this summer.
According to The Sun, Manchester United are among the clubs keeping an eye on Jan Oblak. The Red Devils are seemingly keen on finding a replacement for David de Gea, following his cognitive decline over the past few years. And they believe the Atletico Madrid star could be an ideal option.
However, Manchester United are expected to face stiff competition from Chelsea. The Blues are in the market for a goalkeeper following the disappointing performances of big-money signing Kepa Arrizabalaga. Oblak is believed to be among the candidates shortlisted as potential replacement for the Spaniard.
While Chelsea’s interest in Oblak isn’t entirely surprising, Manchester United’s desire to sign the Slovenian international also makes sense for multiple reasons.
As mentioned earlier, de Gea has clearly fallen from grace, having notably made several defensive errors throughout the course of this campaign. He has drawn a lot of criticism from fans and experts, including Roy Keane, which is understandable, even though the Spaniard does have the fifth-highest save percentage in the Premier League this season.
One clear advantage United have in their pursuit of a goalkeeper is that they always have a back-up option in Dean Henderson. The youngster, currently on loan to Sheffield United, has been one of the most impressive goalkeepers in England this season, playing a key role behind the Blades’ incredible defensive record under Chris Wilder.
Henderson is reportedly willing to commit his future to Manchester United if they do guarantee him regular game-time, meaning he needs to be considered as the first-choice goalkeeper. It shouldn’t be a difficult task for the Red Devils, especially if they offload de Gea, who is sure to attract suitors across Europe.
As for Chelsea, it is a far more delicate situation. The Blues have already spent a fortune on the acquisitions of Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner earlier this summer. They are also keen on securing the services of Kai Havertz, which could significantly affect their overall budget this summer.
That means Frank Lampard won’t likely be able to afford someone like Oblak unless they manage to get rid of Kepa. Interestingly, the Blues have also been linked with a move to Henderson so it will be interesting to see how this incredibly puzzling transfer saga transpires over the coming weeks.