Jan Oblak has put Chelsea on notice after the world-class goalkeeper hinted his future could lay away from Atletico once the season concludes.
The Slovenian has developed into one of the world’s premier goalkeepers while with Atletico.
With Diego Simeone’s well-marshalled defence and the almost impenetrable Oblak between the sticks, Atletico have become synonymous with defensive masterclasses.
At 27, Oblak is in the prime of his career. And while Atletico are understandably reluctant to part ways, the player does retain a £110m release clause in his contract.
Big-spending Chelsea are one club who have registered interest in the past.
The Blues forked out a world record fee for a goalkeeper when they signed Kepa Arrizabalaga from Athletic Bilbao in 2018. But despite glimpses of his talents, the Spaniard has struggled to adapt to the English game on the whole.
Frank Lampard’s side still have money to spend despite the acquisitions of Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech.
Kai Havertz has consumed vast amounts of column inches. But problems at the back may prove to a be a wiser area in which to invest.
With Kepa struggling and back-up Willy Caballero in the autumn of his career, a move for Oblak would be an astute, albeit expensive signing.
Now, before their Champions League clash with RB Leipzig, Oblak has opened the door to further speculation regarding his future.
‘I’ll assess the season when the last game is over,” Oblak told Spanish newspaper AS (via Sky Sports).
“Hopefully we’ll have three more games left to play. Then there will be time after that to talk.
“But first, Leipzig. I’m really looking forward to it.”
Lampard at odds with board over defensive transfers
Trouble could be on the horizon at Chelsea after it was revealed club chiefs aren’t convinced by a £150m duo Frank Lampard ‘definitely wants’.
According to The Athletic’s David Ornstein, Chelsea remain unconvinced over a defensive pair rated highly by Lampard.
With Marcos Alonso and Emerson Palmieri up for sale, Chilwell has been identified as the club’s long-term answer at left-back.
Rice, meanwhile, is seen as the solution to their centre-back woes, but the duo will not be available on the cheap.
Fees of around £70m have been rumoured for both, and Ornstein revealed differences within the club over the pair.