Manchester United are reportedly set to make an audacious move to sign Atletico Madrid goalkeeper Jan Oblak, with David De Gea being offered as part of the deal.
It is claimed that United’s priority is to shift De Gea’s huge wages off the books of the club – the Spaniard is the highest paid player not only at Old Trafford, but in the entire Premier League.
The shot-stopper has endured a notable slump in form in recent years with Wednesday’s Europa League final the latest below par performance which played its part in costing the club a trophy.
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been forced to make a major decision on which of De Gea or Dean Henderson should claim the number one spot at Old Trafford.
Henderson, 24, impressed during a run of form from March onwards but a below-par performance in the Premier League loss at home to Liverpool cost him his spot.
However, United are intent on moving on De Gea this summer as his level of performance does not come close to justifying their wage outlay on the player.
De Gea arrived from Atletico in the summer of 2011 and has been first-choice for the majority of the decade since, and a return to his boyhood club could be possible in a swap deal with Oblak.
The list of potential destinations for the Spain international is a particularly short one – Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain are potential options, but any deal will be difficult.
A return to the Spanish capital would be ideal for the player and his family, with his wife Edurne Garcia Almagro having given birth to a baby daughter – born two months ago.
A report in The Sun now outlines that Oblak is United’s dream choice as goalkeeper and could be available in a deal worth £70million, but the transfer of De Gea would significantly lower that fee.
De Gea failed to save any of Villarreal’s 11 penalties in Wednesday night’s penalty shootout – extending his run to 40 penalties faced without a save for club and country – before he was then thwarted from the spot himself in the decisive spot kick.
It is outlined how the Spaniard had a note of each of Villarreal’s penalty takers inside his towel, but three times he did not adhere to that advice.
There looks to be a huge summer transfer window in store at Old Trafford with multiple changes across the board, including in the goalkeeping department.
Sergio Romero is leaving the club as a free agent and veteran goalkeeper Tom Heaton is set to return to the club without a transfer fee following the expiration of his Aston Villa contract, while Lee Grant’s future in terms of his playing availability is also unclear.
As things stand, Henderson is likely to be the number one option at Old Trafford this summer but the Slovenian Oblak – who has established himself as an elite goalkeeper in Madrid – is the dream option at the club.