Report: Manchester United Plan Swoop for Jan Oblak If David De Gea Exits

Rob Blanchette@@_Rob_BFeatured ColumnistNovember 28, 2018

MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 24: Jan Oblak of Atletico de Madrid looks on during the La Liga match between Club Atletico de Madrid and FC Barcelona at Wanda Metropolitano on November 24, 2018 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Manchester United will reportedly explore signing Jan Oblak from Atletico Madrid if David De Gea leaves for Paris Saint-Germain.

The Spain No. 1 has been linked with a switch to the French champions, and the Red Devils are struggling to make a telling impact in the Premier League.

Sam Cunningham of iNews (h/t Metro) reported United "have begun to concede defeat" in their attempts to get their goalkeeper to sign a new deal and will consider luring Oblak to Old Trafford. United are also reportedly monitoring Everton's Jordan Pickford.

Oblak has reportedly been the target of major English clubs in the past, and United will desire a big-name replacement for their greatest talent if he absconds.

MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 06:  Jan Oblak of Atletico Madrid warms up prior to the Group A match of the UEFA Champions League between Club Atletico de Madrid and Borussia Dortmund at Estadio Wanda Metropolitano on November 6, 2018 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo
Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

Per Cunningham, the Atleti star has a buy-out clause of £87 million, making him affordable in an inflated marketplace. Two years ago, the valuation would have been viewed as overpriced, but replacing De Gea requires one of the best on the planet.

Oblak has excelled for club and country in recent years, and the Slovenian is ready for the huge challenge presented by playing for one of the world's most well-known teams.

The 25-year-old is one of the few stoppers who can claim to be in the same class as the man he would replace at the Theatre of Dreams.

Jon Super/Associated Press

De Gea has been the difference for United on numerous occasions since the 2013 departure of legendary boss Sir Alex Ferguson. The 28-year-old made a huge contribution with a world-class save against Young Boys in the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday, and Old Trafford celebrated a 1-0 win to qualify for the knockouts.

De Gea's exit could be a costly loss in the future, but United already need to restructure their whole defence after a troublesome period under coach Jose Mourinho.

The Red Devils have conceded 21 goals in 13 Premier League games, with De Gea's consistent presence unable to help his side.

Per Simon Peach of the Evening Standard, Mourinho hinted his No. 1 could yet remain at the club.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 13:  David De Gea of Manchester United and Jose Mourinho manager of Manchester United applaud the crowd after during The Emirates FA Cup Quarter-Final match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Stamford Bridge on March 13, 2017
Ian Walton/Getty Images

Mourinho said:

"He is a world-class player. He is the best goalkeeper in the world and, if our ambitions are to be a big club, to be a winning club, you need the best goalkeeper in the world—and you need also some other players the best in the world.

"In this case, we have the best goalkeeper in the world and I know that he wants to stay. I know that his agent is happy to do what the player wants and I also know that the board wants him to stay and they're working on that, so hopefully sooner or later they arrive into good conclusions."

Pickford would be an interesting choice if Mourinho targets the Englishman. He was a breakout star at the 2018 FIFA World Cup but is just short of the class of De Gea or Oblak.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 28: Anthony Martial of Manchester United sees his last minute effort saved by Jordan Pickford of Everton during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Everton FC at Old Trafford on October 28, 2018 in Manchest
Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

He lacks European experience but has proved he is one of the best stoppers in the English top flight.

United fans would be happy to see an exciting English goalkeeper between the sticks, but Oblak would provide the immediate security the team needs for the campaigns ahead.   

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