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regular-article-logo Thursday, 13 June 2024

Manchester United press hard for deal with Inter Milan for goalkeeper Andre Onana

Onana, the 27-year-old Cameroon international who worked with United coach Eric ten Hag at Ajax, could cost €50m (£42.7m), having joined Inter for free last year

Our Bureau Published 12.07.23, 10:33 AM
Andre Onana

Andre Onana Twitter/@AndreyOnana

Manchester United are understood to be close to a deal with Inter Milan for goalkeeper Andre Onana as the first-choice replacement for the outgoing David de Gea.

Onana, the 27-year-old Cameroon international who worked with United coach Eric ten Hag at Ajax, could cost €50m (£42.7m), having joined Inter for free last year. United’s opening bid of €45m (£38.5m) was rejected with Inter bent on their asking price of €60m (£51m).

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British media, quoting Italian news sources, said United officials met with their Inter counterparts on Monday morning to work out a deal.

Transfer expert Fabrizio Romano had posted on Twitter last Friday that the deal would be clinched by the end of this week.

Stepping into the United goal space vacated by De Gea won’t be easy for anyone. No Premier League goalkeeper kept more clean sheets last season than De Gea, who announced his departure on Saturday, and in 12 years at Manchester United, he was named the club’s player of the year on four occasions.

At his best, De Gea, 32, was a match-winning shot-stopper with the agility and speed of reaction to pull off astounding saves.

In recent years, however, he has looked like a player out of sync with the modern game where keepers are also used for their ball-playing qualities, making them effectively an 11th outfield player at times.

Ederson, at City, and Alisson, at Liverpool, look as comfortable with the ball at their feet as they do with their hands. Their composure in possession and the precision of their passing add another dimension to their teams.

United have not had that option with De Gea in goal. This is where United can benefit from Onana. The Cameroonian’s footwork and his distribution and ability to step out of his area were on show in the Champions League final, which City won 1-0.

These are qualities Ten Hag knows well.

Apart from Onana, United are also interested in Atalanta striker Rasmus Hojlund Fiorentina midfielder Sofyan Amrabat.

Written with inputs from AP/PTI

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