Manchester United is on the verge of securing the services of goalkeeper Andre Onana from Inter Milan. The highly anticipated move is expected to be officially announced by the club in the coming days. Onana, who has agreed to personal terms with the Red Devils, is poised to sign a five-year contract with the option to extend for another year, keeping him at Old Trafford until 2029. The transfer fee for the Cameroon international is set at an initial £43.7 million, with additional add-ons potentially raising the total deal value to £47.1 million.
In a visible sign of the imminent transfer, Onana was spotted arriving at Milan airport on Tuesday before catching a flight to Birmingham, where he is scheduled to undergo a medical examination ahead of his move to Manchester United. While both the player and the club have maintained a tight-lipped approach, Onana broke his silence and shared his thoughts on the transfer in an interview with Gazetta dello Sport.
“The important thing is to be honest and always tell people the truth,” expressed the former Ajax goalkeeper. “I am a person who always seeks new challenges. Playing in the Premier League and representing a club like United is irresistible. All parties involved wanted this to happen.”
Onana also acknowledged the special significance of following in the footsteps of legendary Manchester United goalkeepers such as Peter Schmeichel, Edwin van der Sar, and David de Gea. “Being chosen to continue this tradition makes me proud and responsible,” he stated. “I want to win trophies with my new teammates.”
Manchester United has been actively searching for a new number one goalkeeper after opting not to extend David de Gea’s tenure at the club, which lasted 12 years. De Gea left as a free agent at the end of June, following head coach Erik ten Hag’s preference for a goalkeeper who excels with the ball at his feet.
The transfer will reunite Onana with Ten Hag, who played a pivotal role in the goalkeeper’s development from Ajax’s youth team to the senior squad. Despite joining Inter Milan just last summer, the 27-year-old shot-stopper made an immediate impact at the San Siro, contributing to the team’s triumphs in the Coppa Italia and the Supercoppa Italiana. He also played a crucial role in Inter’s appearance in the Champions League final against Manchester City.
Ten Hag will be hopeful that Onana’s visa processing is expedited to ensure his availability for the club’s upcoming pre-season tour in the United States. Manchester United is set to travel on Wednesday, preparing for friendly matches against Arsenal, Real Madrid, and Borussia Dortmund.
Onana’s impending move is expected to trigger a series of changes in Manchester United’s goalkeeping department. Dean Henderson, who spent last season on loan, is anticipated to secure a permanent transfer to Nottingham Forest for a reported fee of £20 million. Additionally, the club may part ways with 37-year-old veteran goalkeeper Tom Heaton. Although Heaton recently signed a one-year contract extension to address the goalkeeping situation, there is a possibility that he could join newly promoted Premier League side Luton if Manchester United successfully secures the signature of promising J-League goalkeeper Zion Suzuki.
With Onana’s arrival all but confirmed, Manchester United will shift its focus towards securing their primary attacking target, Rasmus Hojlund. The club is said to have reached a personal agreement with the young Atalanta forward, although a significant disparity remains between Manchester United’s valuation and Atalanta’s £86 million asking price for the Danish international.
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