Atletico Madrid have spent big to bring in a replacement for Thibaut Courtois by paying Benfica around €20m for goalkeeper Jan Oblak. The Slovenian international had an incredible season with the Eagles last year and will replace the void left by the now departed Courtois.
Having already brought in Miguel Angel Moya from Getafe, Diego Simeone has been able to spend a large proportion of Diego Costa’s transfer fee to bring in Oblak. According to local sources, Oblak was in Madrid on Monday completing a medical ahead of the imminent transfer.
It is expected that an official announcement will be made by the La Liga champions, and by last season’s Europa League runners-up in the next 24 hours.
Oblak excelled in the Portuguese league last season, keeping a whopping 21 clean sheets during his 25 games for the first team, conceding just 6 times. The club also reached the Europa League Final, losing on penalties to Sevilla after a gruelling 120 minutes.
The 21-year-old follows the recent trend for Atleti to put a youngster in goal, as Courtois remained as their number one for three seasons whilst on loan from Chelsea. The Belgian looks likely to be part of Jose Mourinho’s plans at Stamford Bridge next season and was quick to rule out another season at the Vicente Calderon for the 22-year-old.
Benfica have long been a selling club, with David Luiz, Ramires and Nemanja Matic all departing to Chelsea in recent years. Angel Di Maria and Fabio Coentrao left for Real Madrid whilst Axel Witsel and Javi Garcia have been other big names to leave. This season, Lazar Markovic, who is being tracked by Liverpool, and Nico Gaitan could join Oblak in leaving the club for massive fees.