Manchester United are increasingly worried about the future of goalkeeper David de Gea, and the club have already started groundwork in order to find a potential replacement should the Spaniard leave the club in the summer. There are also reports stating that Mourinho has granted Madrid’s wish and is prepared to sell De Gea (Portuguese outlet Correio de Manha).
Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak has emerged as the top transfer target, according to latest reports from Daily Star. United have sent scouts to have a closer look at the goalkeeper in action. A move for Oblak will be reminiscent of a move for De Gea, who was signed from Atletico back in 2013 for £18 million.
United might have to pay several times more for Oblak, who is valued in the region of £40 million by Atletico. Signed as a replacement for Thibaut Courtois when the Belgian returned to Chelsea, Oblak has quickly grown into one of the top goalkeepers in Spanish football. The Slovenian is only 24 years old and he recently signed a contract with Atletico that runs until the summer of 2021. Atletico have been quick to secure the future of their star goalkeeper, but the Spanish club are aware that any interest from a top club like United will change the whole dynamic of the situation.
After having spent most of his career in Portuguese football with Benfica, a player like Oblak will instantly appeal to Jose Mourinho with his Portuguese roots. Oblak made his debut for Benfica when he was just 17 years old, and he managed to win the domestic treble with the Portuguese outfit back in 2014. Even as a young goalkeeper, Atletico paid a whopping £16m back in the summer of 2014. It is highly unlikely that the club would value the player at anything less than £40 million.
Only a few weeks ago, United seemed to have convinced David de Gea to stay at Old Trafford. However, the shadow of Real Madrid refuses to go away from the 26-year-old. The Spanish club are close to securing the league title for the first time since the 2011-12 campaign. More importantly, Madrid are on the verge of winning a third Champions League title in the last four seasons. David de Gea would be tempted at the possibility of joining the Spanish club, especially considering that Manchester United have even struggled to qualify for the Champions League in the last four years.
United tried to scare Real Madrid with a £60 million valuation, but Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane has made signing a top goalkeeper as his priority (Spanish source AS). The Frenchman sees the goalkeeping position as one of the few areas of weaknesses. For all the successes this campaign, Madrid have a poor defensive record. United, though, are increasingly confident that a replacement is readily available in the form of Jan Oblak.