Chelsea’s search for a replacement for want-away goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois took another twist this evening with reports emerging that the Stamford Bridge club are preparing a £89 million bid for Atletico Madrid shot-stopper Jan Oblak.
Not long after Sky Sports reported that the Blues had made Stoke City ‘keeper Jack Butland their number one transfer target, Spanish publication Mundo Deportivo broke the news that Chelsea are ready to meet Slovenia international Oblak’s £89 million buy out clause.
25-year-old Oblak has established himself as one of Europe’s top goalkeepers since moving to Wanda Metropolitano Stadium in 2014 from Benfica, where he ironically replaced Courtois, who returned to Chelsea after a three-season loan stay with Atletico.
Courtois has made it clear to Chelsea that he has his heart set on a move to Real Madrid this summer, with new Blues boss Maurizio Sarri confirming after yesterday’s 2-0 Community Shield defeat that he would not keep the Belgium international at Stamford Bridge if he was not fully motivated.
Mundo Deportivo even suggest that Chelsea could sign Oblak before 5pm on Thursday, which would mean Courtois would have until the end of the month to finalise his move to the Bernabeu, with the Spanish window not closing for a further three weeks.
If Chelsea are to sell Courtois, Oblak is one of the few goalkeepers out there that would provide a like-for-like replacement in terms of ability.