Diego Simeone responds to Chelsea’s interest in goalkeeper Jan Oblak



The imposing shot-stopper is Chelsea’s top target to replace Kepa (Picture: Getty Images)

Atletico Madrid boss Diego Simeone is ‘not surprised’ by Chelsea’s rumoured interest in Jan Oblak though hopes to keep the in-demand goalkeeper at the club.

Frank Lampard looks set to raid the transfer market this summer for a new number one between the sticks, having become concerned by Kepa Arrizabalaga’s recent performances – and even briefly dropping the Spaniard from the side.

Both Lampard and technical and performance advisor Petr Cech know only too well the importance of having a goalkeeper that the rest of the back-line can rely on if they are to challenge for silverware.

Kepa Arrizabalaga during West Ham United v Chelsea FC - Premier League

Lampard has not been won over by Kepa and is ready to upgrade him (Picture: Getty)

Oblak is widely regarded as the best keeper in the world and Chelsea are prepared to fork out £90million to land him – while they could include Kepa as part of the deal to lower the cash value.

Simeone has often had to fend off rumours surrounding his goalkeeper in the past and, with a £108m release clause in the Slovenian’s contract, seems pretty relaxed about Chelsea’s interest.

Asked about the speculation on Wednesday, Simeone said: ‘It does not surprise me, every year our most important players are wanted by the best in the world.

‘It is normal to always look for the best – and we have many. Some have left and others have stayed.


‘It is logical and normal that anyone wants Oblak. He is our captain and an important player. I hope we can count on his work, which is enormous for Atleti.’

Jan Oblak during RC Celta de Vigo v Club Atletico de Madrid  - La Liga

Oblak has been absolutely outstanding since cementing his place at Atletico (Picture: Getty)

Kepa had a tumultuous first season at Chelsea, famously clashing with Maurizio Sarri in the Carabao Cup final, while he was briefly replaced by veteran backup Willy Caballero in the starting XI by Lampard this season.

The Chelsea boss is believed to have given Kepa the season finale to prove his credentials, but he has continued to look unconvincing and made errors against both West Ham and Crystal Palace.

Oblak, meanwhile, boasts an incredible pedigree and has been named the best goalkeeper in La Liga for the last four years running, while he has kept 16 clean sheets this season – Kepa has only managed seven.

MORE: Frank Lampard makes Jan Oblak Chelsea’s top transfer priority and prepares enormous bid

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