Atletico Madrid have identified Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga as a potential replacement for Jan Oblak, who may leave Wanda Metropolitano in the summer.
A recent report from Fichajes has offered interesting insights into the situation surrounding Atletico Madrid’s goalkeeping department. In a surprising turn of events, it appears the reigning Spanish champions aren’t averse to offloading their top-rated custodian Jan Oblak next summer, especially if a European giant came up with a favourable offer.
In an attempt to replace the Slovenian international, Atleti have set their sights on Kepa Arrizabalaga. The Chelsea goalkeeper is keen on leaving Stamford Bridge, with the club prepared to offload him for a fee of around €25-30 million.
Widely renowned as one of the best goalkeepers on the planet, Oblak has endured a rapid fall from grace this season. He has made multiple errors between the sticks and has appeared rather sloppy in goal.
Among all the regular goalkeepers in La Liga this term, Oblak has accrued the worst save percentage rate of just 50%. It is a rather shocking tally that has forced Atletico Madrid to plan his potential sale in the summer. Los Colchoneros are aware that Oblak’s value may dip significantly if they fail to offload him at the end of the season.
In Kepa Arrizabalaga, the Spanish champions have found their desired replacement as well. Despite the goalkeeper’s struggles at Chelsea, Atleti believe the Spaniard has what it takes to become a top-level goalkeeper and are keen on utilising the market opportunity, especially with the Blues reportedly keen on offloading the player.
The likes of Lazio and Napoli have expressed the desire to sign Kepa at the end of the season. But in Atletico Madrid, the former Athletic Club custodian could find himself a top club which is prepared to offer him the opportunity to redeem himself after a horror spell in England.
The report even suggests Kepa is willing to take a pay cut in order to force an exit from Stamford Bridge next season, which plays into Atleti’s favour. However, it remains to be seen whether Diego Simeone’s side find a suitor for Oblak in the summer, as the Slovenian’s departure could be imperative if they are to sign Kepa in the upcoming season.
Manchester United were briefly linked with a move for Jan Oblak earlier in the year. But it appears the Red Devils are happy with David de Gea, who himself has recently committed his future to Old Trafford. So it remains to be seen if Atletico find a club willing to splash the cash on Oblak, which would facilitate their move for Chelsea’s Kepa.