Manchester United are reportedly weighing up a January approach for one of LaLiga’s best goalkeepers amid claims Erik ten Hag already has doubts over big summer signing Andre Onana at Old Trafford.
The Red Devils forked out the third biggest transfer fee for a goalkeeper of all time this summer to bring Onana to the club from Inter Milan. Paying an initial £43.8m for his services, the final fee for Onana will reach £47.8m once add-ons are factored in, putting him third on that all-time list.
Astonishingly, the 27-year-old had joined the Nerazzurri as a free agent just a year earlier, meaning Inter’s sale earned them a very handsome profit on their original investment.
However, Onana has made a woeful start to life at Old Trafford, conceding an alarming 10 goals from their six games to date. And while a clean sheet at Burnley on Saturday will have gone down well, the Cameroonian is clearly still adapting to his surroundings having conceded plenty of all-too-soft goals, including a tame effort from Leroy Sane in their loss to Bayern Munich on Wednesday night.
With Onana far from his best, reports over the weekend claim Inter felt at the time that Inter’s sale of Onana for such a high fee was ‘a masterpiece’ with United mocked for paying such a hefty amount for a player who it is felt will ‘never be considered world class’.
With several pundits also claiming the decision to replace long-serving David De Gea with Onana was the wrong one, speculation is now starting to mount that United are already in the market for an upgrade when the January window opens for business.
Man Utd tipped to make €50m move for Jan Oblak
And according to reports in Spain, United are casting their eyes towards long-standing Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak.
Oblak, still only 30, is now into his 10th season as an Atletico player, having established himself as not just one of the best in Spain, but also one of the world’s elite goalkeepers.
Indeed, United have themselves found themselves linked with a move for Oblak on multiple occasions over the years, despite having never made a concrete approach for the 58-times capped Slovenia international.
Now, however, that could be about to change with reports in Spain claiming Atletico are ready to put Oblak on the market ahead of the winter window opening in just 98 days’ time.
And per the reports, Los Rojoblancos are seeking a fee of €50m (£43.6m) to sell Oblak – ironically, near enough the same fee United shelled out to sign Onana over the summer.
That’s because Atletico officials fear Onana may well be past his best with his form having dipped in recent times. And fearing his valuation could plummet if that continues, Diego Simeone’s men are now reportedly ready to cash in on the long-serving star.
Whether United can finance such a move, however, remains to be seen. And it would also be a major admission that the signing of Onana – who was signed for his ability with the ball at his feet, as well as his shot-saving ability – was a costly mistake.
Would United do that so soon? That appears extremely unlikely, especially with the Red Devils themselves finding in the past just how hard it is keeping two No 1s (at the time Dean Henderson was competing with De Gea) happy.
As such, it seems unlikely United will be making a move for Oblak despite such claims. Ten Hag is far more likely to spend such sums on more defensive additions, while another striker to take the burden off Rasmus Hojlund would also not go amiss.