Arsenal Transfer News: Diego Simeone Discusses Jan Oblak Exit Rumours

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistApril 14, 2018

LISBON, PORTUGAL - APRIL 12: Club Atletico de Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak from Slovenia in action during the UEFA Europa League Quarter Final Leg Two match between Sporting CP and Club Atletico de Madrid at Estadio Jose Alvalade on April 12, 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal.  (Photo by Gualter Fatia/Getty Images)
Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has expressed his hope that star goalkeeper Jan Oblak will stay at the club amid rumours linking the stopper with Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain.

As reported by AS' Patricia Cazon, the tactician went out of his way to praise the Slovenian and said he will do his best to convince him to stay:

"Atleti act accordingly to keep the most important players at the club. Jan is the best in the world at the moment. I hope he stays and that we can get the sporting side across to him, to keep growing as a team and a club. I hope he stays happy and keeps on growing like he is today. All of the teams who are winning things are doing so because they have great goalkeepers."

LISBON, PORTUGAL - APRIL 12: Club Atletico de Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak from Slovenia in action during warm up before the start of the UEFA Europa League Quarter Final Leg Two match between Sporting CP and Club Atletico de Madrid at Estadio Jose Alvalad
Gualter Fatia/Getty Images

James Benge of the London Evening Standard named the 25-year-old as a target for the Gunners last month, while RMC (via AS) also reported in March that PSG are willing to trigger his €100 million buyout clause (roughly £88 million).

According to AS, Oblak told Slovenian newspaper Ekipa there have been no new contract negotiations with the Rojiblancos over the recent international break. While he's still signed to a long-term deal, the value of the clause presents a significant problem for Atletico.

An £88 million transfer fee would have been ludicrous for a goalkeeper just a few years ago, but prices have risen tremendously of late. As noted by Simeone, having a great stopper is key to success, and there's little doubt Oblak is among the elite at the position:

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Both Arsenal and PSG are expected to address the position in the summer. The Gunners still rely on Petr Cech, who at the age of 35 no longer plays at an elite level. The former Chelsea man was among the Premier League's best for years but has taken a step back this season.

PSG's current top option is academy graduate Alphonse Areola, who has all the athletic tools needed to be a star goalkeeper but continues to make mental mistakes. At 25 years old, he can no longer be treated as a prospect―he's the same age as Oblak, who has been playing at a world-class level for some time already.

Here's a look at some of his top saves from last season:

Atletico do an excellent job of scouting and nurturing goalkeepers, developing the likes of David De Gea, Thibaut Courtois and Oblak. If they were to lose the latter, they should like their chances of adequately replacing him and already have a highly touted prospect on the books in Portuguese youth international Andre Moreira.

They would much rather keep hold of Oblak, however, and in order to be sure he'll stay, increasing his buyout clause is a must.