Transfer News & Odds

Andre Onana transfer latest: Six things we know about the Man Utd, Chelsea target

By Harry Edwards

Published: 10:33, 4 July 2023

Manchester United are in the market for a new goalkeeper this summer, and their sights seem firmly set on one man.

When Premier League clubs announced their retained and released lists for the 2023/24 campaign last month, there was a big name including among the Man Utd players. On top of Phil Jones and Axel Tuanzebe, it was confirmed that David de Gea would not be offered a new contract at Old Trafford, bringing an end to the Spaniard’s 12-year stay.

At his peak, De Gea was one of the best goalkeepers in the Premier League and in his final season the Spaniard still managed to claim his second Golden Glove for keeping 16 clean sheets, more than any other shot-stopper in the division.

But for some time the Spaniard had been suffering a slow decline, with more mistakes creeping back into his game, meaning he was costing Man Utd as many goals as he was preventing in some games. With the Spaniard gone, Man Utd’s current goalkeeping options are Dean Henderson and Tom Heaton, as Jack Butland also left the club to return to Crystal Palace at the end of his loan.

So, unless the plan is to put all their faith in Henderson, Man Utd need a new goalkeeper — but who?

Andre Onana appears to be on the shortlist of a few clubs this summer after his performances in helping Inter Milan reach the Champions League final and in recent weeks Man Utd have shot to the forefront of the conversation.

Who is interested in Andre Onana?

Earlier this summer Chelsea were the name most-linked with Onana, as they look to strengthen a spot in their team that had caused them problems in recent years. Edouard Mendy suffered a decline after helping the Blues to the Champions League final — and has since left for Al-Ahli — while the confidence in Kepa Arrizabalaga has never fully been there.

With Chelsea also hoping to negotiate a permanent move to Inter for Romelu Lukaku, there was a chance that something could be done – there were even reports that the Blues were willing to offer four players in a part-exchange amid interest from Tottenham, who were looking to replace Hugo Lloris.

But within a few days Chelsea had reportedly pulled out of the race for Onana, first believed to be focussing on other goalkeepers before further reports claimed the goal is now to search for a backup to Kepa rather than a first-choice option. So now, Man Utd appear to be the sole runners for Onana and according to reports they have already made a bid for the goalkeeper.

Italian journalist Alfredo Pedulla claims Man Utd have offered Inter, €40m plus an extra €5m in bonuses for Onana, but it falls short of the Nerazzurri‘s valuation and desire.

Former Man Utd defender Rio Ferdinand has also spoken of bids going in but believes the Red Devils may struggle to match Inter’s asking price. “Bids are going in, bruv. I think they’ll go for it. I think they’re gonna go for it, he’s someone they want to try and get,” he said on his Vibe with Five YouTube show.

“But the problem is Inter’s pricing. Manchester United haven’t got an open cheque book and the takeover won’t affect that in this window.”

And there could now be more competition for Onana’s signature from elsewhere, with CBS Sports claiming Saudi Arabian club Al-Nassr have made a lucrative offer for the Cameroonian goalkeeper. Al-Nassr’s current no.1 is David Ospina, but the Colombian is currently injured, and De Gea is another reported target.

Andre Onana transfer specials: To sign for before 3rd September 2023  Sky Bet
Manchester United 2/5
Chelsea 14/1
Tottenham 33/1
To stay at Inter Milan 2/1
You have to be 18+ to gamble. UK only. All odds within this article are accurate at the time of writing (10:30, 04/07/2023). Be Gamble Aware.

How much could Onana cost?

In his report of Man Utd’s first bid, Pedulla goes on to report that Inter are holding out for an initial fee of €50m with bonuses that would take the deal closer to €60m. In recent years we have seen the price of goalkeepers go up, particularly in Kepa’s move to Chelsea and Alisson signing for Liverpool.

Both moves happened in the same transfer window, with Alisson coming first and breaking the record for a transfer fee for a goalkeeper, with Liverpool signing the Brazilian for £67m in July 2018. Just a few weeks later, that record was broken by Chelsea signing Kepa for £71.6m from Athletic Bilbao, triggering the Spaniard’s release clause as they rushed to find a replacement for Thibaut Courtois who was pushing for a move to Real Madrid.

When does Onana’s contract run out?

Onana only joined Inter last summer from Ajax, so the club are in a good position for negotiating. The Cameroonian’s contract runs until 2027, meaning Inter have plenty of power in dictating the terms of any prospective deal with willing buyers, knowing they don’t stand to lose him any time soon (as we have seen in other moves this summer).

What has Onana said?

Speaking after the Champions League final defeat to Manchester City, when interest was already building, Onana stated his happiness at Inter Milan — but crucially he also revealed he would accept whatever they decided, which could mean leaving if they felt Man Utd offered the right deal.

“I’m so, so happy at Inter,” Onana said. “At this professional level you never know what happens.

“I’m available for Inter, they decide and I will accept what they want. I’m happy at Inter.”

Given the links between himself and Man Utd, journalists have naturally been posing questions to him about his future, but he’s remained decidedly coy. When asked about reported interest from Man Utd last month, Hojlund said “we will have to wait and see” what happens.

Speaking to Tipsbladet on Man Utd links, he said: “It is a huge club, so I must have done something right if it’s rumoured they want me. We have to see what happens.

“As you see and hear, I imagine a lot could happen to quite a few strikers this summer, as many clubs are looking for a No. 9. Something will definitely happen there, and then we’ll have to wait and see if I am included in it.

“I am very happy to be with Atalanta and we have qualified for Europe. I have found myself in a really good place here, so now we will have to wait and see.”

What have Inter said?

Shortly before reports of Man Utd’s bid for Onana surfaced, Inter themselves confirmed the Red Devils’ interest in the goalkeeper and didn’t appear opposed to opening negotiations.

“Manchester United have expressed an interest which may or may not lead to an offer in the next few days,” Inter CEO Beppe Marotta said when asked about Onana’s future.

“Once that happens, both Inter and the player will carefully assess it.”

How could Inter Milan replace Onana? Dream, Realistic & Wildcard options

It appears that Inter are preparing for a potential life without Onana. According to reports in Italy, the Nerazzurri have been in contact with Atalanta over the potential signing of Marco Carnesecchi. The 23-year-old came through the academy at Atalanta but is yet to make an appearance for the first team, spending the past two season out on loan at Cremonese.

First joining the club in Serie B, Carnesecchi kept nine clean sheets in 36 games, conceding 38 goals, to help Cremonese finish second and secure promotion to Serie A — their first season in the top flight for 26 years. Carnesecchi remained at Cremonese last season and kept four clean sheets in 27 games, but found it much harder with 47 goals conceded and made two errors leading to goal. Cremonese were relegated, but the 23-year-old is clearly valued by Inter if they’re looking at him as a potential replacement for Onana — he did make 107 saves in Serie A last season, averaging 3.96 per 90 minutes.

Two more names currently being linked with Inter are Anatoliy Trubin and David Raya. Trubin is currently plying his trade in his native Ukraine with Shakhtar Donetsk, having come through the club’s academy, and kept 14 clean sheets in 28 games last season to help his side win the league title. But Trubin has also been linked to the likes of Chelsea, as has David Raya. But Raya could be a more likely option for Inter, as he might be looking for Champions League football in a step up from Brentford.

“I know there are rumours about me leaving. There are some options for me to go but obviously Brentford are asking for a lot of money. That could make clubs not want to buy me, it could make them look somewhere else,” Raya said recently.

“But if that’s the value they give me, then it’s up to them. I have a year left on my contract and until then I’m a Brentford player, there’s nothing I can do.

“I have ambitions to make the next step in my career. I want to try to win titles and to compete in Europe in the next couple of years. I’m 27 now and I feel like I’m at the point in my career when I want to make that step up. There are options out there but it’s not just my ambitions, the club also needs to let me go.”

Statistically, Raya was pretty close to Onana last season, keeping 0.32 clean sheets per 90 minutes compared to 0.33, and conceding 1.21 goals to 1. Raya was definitely the busier goalkeeper in the league, averaging 4.05 saves per 90 to Onana’s 2.58, with a save percentage of 77% to 71.76%. It’d be an interesting option and perhaps the dream move, compared to a more realistic deal for Carnesecchi.

Or what about another Premier League Spaniard? A bold move for Kepa could shake things up massively, and would likely bring Chelsea back into the fold for Onana, though Inter would want any deals to be left separate. Of course, this is just our wildcard suggestion and very unlikely to happen, but could you imagine?