Chelsea couldn’t be leaving their goalkeeper situation much later even if they tried, and everything points to Thibaut Courtois leaving for Real Madrid – either in the coming days or before the Spanish transfer window closes at the end of the month. The Blues though will need to know (or already do) and have just three working days left to bring in a replacement or face a season with Willy Caballero and Rob Green as the top two choices.
All the reports yesterday, including via Sky Sports, suggested that Chelsea wanted Jack Butland from Championship side Stoke to replace Courtois – having been told ‘no chance’ in their pursuit of Jordan Pickford at Everton.
However, Spanish news source Mundo Deportivo (in Spanish) state that Maurizio Sarri’s side will splash out on the £89 million release clause of Atletico Madrid’s Slovenian international goalkeeper Jan Oblak.
Blues fans would no doubt be excited to see the 25-year old Oblak arrive at Stamford Bridge, arguably one of the game’s current premium stoppers and a player with a real winning pedigree, having lifted the Europa League title, Spanish Super Cup and Portuguese title (with Benfica), while also being a runner-up in the Champions League final a few seasons back against Real Madrid.
If Chelsea are serious about making a bid for Oblak then they will have to do so imminently, however if he does arrive before the deadline he is unlikely to make his debut against Huddersfield as is currently carrying an injury.
The Telegraph state that the more likely option if Courtois does leave will be the cheaper option of Jack Butland, while Sergio Rico of Sevilla has also been mentioned as a more affordable alternative. England international Butland would likely cost around £25 million – significantly less so than Jan Oblak.
Whatever happens we won’t have long to wait to find out the outcome of this potential goalkeeper merry-go-round.