Slovenia international Jan Oblak is reported to have turned down advances from Chelsea despite the club triggering the £90m release clause on his Atletico Madrid contract. The 25-year-old had emerged as the prime target for the Blues after Thibaut Courtois made his mind up to join Real Madrid but they could not convince the shot-stopper to head to Stamford Bridge.
According to The Sunday Times, the West London giants agreed to activate the £90m escape clause on the goalkeeper’s contract but the Slovenian nevertheless vetoed the move as the Blues could not assure him of Champions League football. As a result, the Capital outfit made a late attempt to sign Kepa Arrizabalaga from Athletic Bilbao instead and they were successful after triggering the £71m buy-out clause written into his contract.
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.