Fabrizio Romano reveals likeliest outcome of Man Utd pursuit of elite goalkeeper subject of ‘very advanced’ talks
Jan Oblak has been mentioned as a possible successor to David De Gea for Manchester United – and transfer expert Fabrizio Romano has revealed the state of play.
De Gea has been under pressure in recent weeks due to concerns about his suitability for the style of new manager Erik ten Hag. The former Ajax boss favours a philosophy of playing out from the back.
Although an elite shot-stopper, De Gea is deemed by many to not be good enough with the ball at his feet to fit in. Besides, he is into the final year of his contract at Old Trafford.
Manchester United can extend his stay by a further 12 months should they desire. However, there is a growing expectation that De Gea will be moving on in 2023.
In turn, Manchester United will have to find someone more suitable to become their number one. All eyes will be on how Dean Henderson develops on loan at Nottingham Forest this season, but they could enter the transfer market instead.
One option to have been mentioned in a few reports recently is Jan Oblak. The Slovenia international is one of the best in the world in his position.
Hence, Manchester United could repeat history by doing exactly what they did for De Gea back in 2011 – sign a goalkeeper from Atletico Madrid.
However, transfer guru Fabrizio Romano has now issued some words of caution when it comes to the chances of Manchester United bringing the 29-year-old in.
As reported by Romano on Caught Offside, Atletico Madrid are discussing a new deal for Oblak. It might put an end to any rival attempt to lure him away from the Wanda Metropolitano.
Romano confirms ‘nothing advanced’ with other clubs
Romano wrote: “Atletico Madrid have been working to extend Oblak’s contract for a long time now.
“During the summer transfer window, talks were very advanced so Atletico Madrid remain optimistic.
“We will see how contract talks go in the near future. But for now, there is nothing advanced or concrete with other clubs.”
Reports over the summer indicated Oblak was extending his commitment with Atletico Madrid until 2028. However, any agreement has never actually been announced by the Spanish club.
His existing deal has been due to expire at the end of the season, just like De Gea.
It seems that Diego Simeone’s side are managing to tie him down, though. Hence, reports of interest from Manchester United – as well as Tottenham Hotspur – may have to be put on the backburner.
Man Utd might have more realistic options than Oblak
In truth, Oblak always seemed like a dream target for either side. There might be more realistic options out there, even if they are not of the same standard.
After all, there aren’t many at all in the same bracket as Oblak when it comes to goalkeeping. That doesn’t mean that alternative targets who fall short of his ability won’t be good enough; they could still be of high class.
The selection process for the next Manchester United goalkeeper is likely to take more time. They will have to be careful in finding someone who is the correct fit for the principles that Ten Hag wants to deploy.
After all, De Gea has been warned that Ten Hag is not going to change his philosophy. Therefore, the chances are that he will be replaced with someone who can help the Dutch tactician construct his ideas in a more concrete manner.
Change might be coming in the new year. But Manchester United will have to cast their net wider if Atletico Madrid do manage to tie down Oblak.
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