Tottenham join race for Oblak

Jan Oblak


Tottenham Hotspur have reportedly joined Manchester United in the race to sign Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak.

The Slovenia international has forged a reputation as one of the world’s leading shot-stoppers during his eight years at the Wanda Metropolitano after joining for a £14.4m fee from Benfica in 2014.

Oblak has kept 177 clean sheets in 360 matches as part of Diego Simeone’s backline, winning La Liga, the Europa League, the UEFA Super Cup and the Supercopa de Espana in that time.

The 29-year-old was named Atletico’s Player of the Year for their title-winning 2020-21 season, and he was due to become a free agent at the end of the current campaign.

Atletico and Oblak eventually came to an agreement over a new contract until the summer of 2028, but he has been strongly linked with an exit from the Spanish capital in recent weeks.

Manchester United are believed to have identified Oblak as an ideal successor to David de Gea, and according to the Evening Standard, Tottenham are also plotting a move.

The report states that Antonio Conte’s side have already made contact with the four-time Slovenia Player of the Year to gauge his interest in a possible switch to North London in 2023.

Oblak is understood to be Tottenham’s primary target to succeed Hugo Lloris, who turns 35 next year and is not expected to stay beyond the expiry of his contract in 2024.

Fraser Forster was signed from Southampton on a free transfer, but Conte and Fabio Paratici are said to have drawn up a long-term plan for life after Lloris’s eventual exit.

Furthermore, Atletico are supposedly open to discussing a summer exit for Oblak, who will celebrate his 30th birthday in January and will no longer command the £107m release clause that has previously been mentioned.

Chelsea have been linked with a move for Oblak in the past, and the Blues are now facing uncertainty over the futures of both Edouard Mendy and Kepa Arrizabalaga.

The latter is not expected to stick around at Stamford Bridge much longer after being relegated to second choice, and Mendy has allegedly been left dissatisfied with the club’s offer of a new deal.

As a result, co-owner Todd Boehly has drafted a list of potential goalkeeping targets, but it is unknown if the West London club plan to reignite their interest in Oblak.

Should Atletico allow Oblak to depart in 2023, the Rojiblancos have reportedly identified Aston Villa’s Emiliano Martinez as an ideal replacement.

Meanwhile, Tottenham number one Lloris picked up a thigh injury prior to the international break, and the World Cup winner is considered a doubt for Saturday’s North London derby with Arsenal.