Atletico Madrid could step up their interest to re-sign Thibaut Courtois from Chelsea next summer, should Jan Oblak pursue a fresh challenge elsewhere. The Slovenia international has been linked with a big-money move to Paris Saint-Germain, who are prepared to trigger the £89m release clause in his contract.
According to Spanish outlet AS, the Madrid giants are preparing for the worst situation, if Oblak refuses to commit to a new contract which would include an increased escape clause. The Slovakian has been the backbone behind Atleti’s improved defensive record in recent years, but the former Benfica man has yet to taste anything in terms of trophy success. As a result, the 24-year-old is likely to re-evaluate his future at the end of the season with Les Parisiens on the search for a new shot-stopper who can take over the gloves from Alphonse Areola, who is still prone of making mistakes.
Manchester City midfielder Fabian Delph has had to pull out of the World Cup qualifiers against Slovenia due to an injury.
As a result, England national team manager Gareth Southgate has had to bring in Tottenham’s Harry Winks as the replacement. This forced change means that Harry Winks is in the England squad for the first time in his career. He has been included from the England under 21 setup, as Southgate was to have a number of options in the midfield. There is a significant possibility of Harry Winks playing in the games against Slovenia or Lithuania.
England are closer to confirming their top spot in the group with the victory over Slovenia, who have reinvigorated the chances of qualifying for the World Cup 2018 by picking up three wins in the last five group matches. The recent victory for the Slovenia team game against Lithuania as they thrashed the opponent’s 4-0 at home. However, managerKatanec will be aware that it will be a difficult game for Slovenia when they travel to the English soil for a match at the new Wembley stadium.
Paris St Germain do not appear to be satisfied with the spending spree so far, as the club have been linked with a move for Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak.
Regarded as one of the best young goalkeepers in the world, the Slovenian has been subjected to interest from PSG, who have just spent a whopping £ 196 million on Barcelona forward Neymar. The transfer broke the world record by a significant margin, but PSG are now looking set to do the same with regard to a transfer record for the goalkeeper.
Up until now, Gianluigi Buffon was the world’s most expensive goalkeeper after having cost £ 32 million for his transfer several years ago to Juventus. Manchester City broke this record by signing Edersonfrom Benfica for around £ 35 million. Now, PSG are reportedly ready to pay around £ 90 million for Atletico Madrid’s Jan Oblak. Incidentally, this is the release clause in his contract and this would help PSG do away with any negotiations just like in the case of Neymar.
Serie A side Atalanta has succeeded in luring Slovenia star Josip Ilicic from rivals from Fiorentina, according to reports.
The player moved to Fiorentina in 2013 after spending three years at Palermo. The 29-year old midfielder has played 44 games for Slovenia in the international scene and is deemed a decent player in the league.
Ilicic scored five times last term in 30 appearances. He was crucial to Atalanta returning to European football after they finished fourth in the league. They would be playing in the Europa League for the first time in 26 years.
The club also signed Under 21-Belgian star Timothy Castagne to replace former right back Andrea Conti who moved to Milan. Thomas Foket of KAA Gent was the preferred replacement but after the player pulled out Atalanta had to move ahead with the deal for Castagne. The player helped Genk reach the quarter finals of the Europa League, contributing two goals in ten games.
Atletico Madrid will reportedly keep hold of goalkeeper Jan Oblak after they failed to have their transfer embargo overturned at the Court of Arbitration of Sport.
The Spanish outfit, can however, sign players during the summer transfer window, but they can’t register them for competitive action until the turn of the year.
The Slovenia international had been recently linked with an exit from the Capital outfit after his representative MihaMlakar hinted that the 24-year-old is attracting big club interest including one from the United Kingdom, he said, via Goal: “It is true that there is a lot of interest in the best goalkeeper in the world. There are two clubs especially interested in Oblak for next season. One is in the United Kingdom.”
Oblak had been identified as a potential replacement for Manchester United’s David de Gea, who has recently attracted interest from Real Madrid, while Paris Saint-Germain are said to have also quoted an interest in the shot-stopper. Atletico were seemingly confident of having their embargo overruled just as their cross-city rivals Real, but the judgement did not go in their favour.
Slovenia coach SreckoKatanec said that he had been impressed with the performance of Scotland in the World Cup qualifiers.
Being in the same group as the Scots, he said that he has been following the team closely and that he feels that the team deserved better.
SreckoKatanec believes that Scotland was the better team in the match against England at Wembley and it was unfortunate for them to lose the game 3-0. He believes that this is down to bad luck and that with a bit of chance they could have got a positive result from this game.
He said that he has watched the game against England and that he thinks that Scotland did not to be beaten 3-0. He said that the Scots cause the England team a lot of problems on the pitch and they even created some interesting opportunities.
He said that Slovenia has had a decent performance in a tough group and that he is proud of what his players have achieved. He said that there were not a lot of expectations after being drawn in a group comprising of England, Slovakia and Scotland but he feels that his players have given their best on the pitch.
Hearts FC have moved to replace injured player [knee ligament damage] Callum Paterson and bolster their defensive options by signing Slovenia international Andraz Struna.
Struna, 27, would feature for Hearts until the end of the current campaign, according to reports.
The right back joined Hearts from Greek club PAS Giannina, and he says he is optimistic about the style of play at the club.
“I’m an attacking full back and I think I’ll be a good fit based on the ideas presented to me by the club and the head coach. I like possession football and I understand that is the way Hearts want to play, so I’m optimistic,” the Slovenian was quoted saying.
Scotland national football team coach Gordon Strachan has revealed that he would play Scott Brown in the World Cup clash with Slovenia.
Brown retired from the round leather game last but he was surprisingly called to play in the game against the Three Lions
in November last year.
The player is yet to fully decide if he would continue playing for the national team after his U-turn to play. Strachan has now revealed that he has not received any indication that the 31-year old would not be featuring when the face Canada and Slovenia in less than two months.
“I spoke to lots of players and Scott is one of them. Not one of them has said they don’t want to be involved in the next game. I’m sure over the course of a conversation that if anyone felt like that – just as Alan Hutton did a few months ago – then they would have told me.
Scotland coach Gordon Strachan says he hopes the national team side would play a friendly game before their “must-win” clash against Slovenia in 2017 so the players can warm up ahead of the game.
Scotland is four points behind second-placed opponents but they hope to tap into the opportunity presented by four home games of five.
English Premier League side Arsenal are interested in landing Slovenia international Jan Oblak as they have been keeping tabs on him for a while, reports say.
The North London side are however stuck as his club Atletico Madrid placed a €100 million price tag on him. The goalkeeper is one of the finest goalkeepers in Europe and he has drawn interests from many top clubs who are keen on luring him away from Madrid.