According to a host of reputable sources, Manchester United are gearing up for significant changes in their goalkeeping department. The Premier League giants have arranged preliminary discussions with the representative of Andre Onana in order to negotiate personal terms.
The Cameroonian shot-stopper is believed to have a price tag of €50m plus add-ons, an amount that is regarded as a bargain given his outstanding form in the previous season.
David de Gea’s long-standing tenure at Manchester United may be drawing to a close as the club takes the first real steps towards reinforcing their goalkeeping ranks.
Earlier rumors had linked United to Diogo Costa from FC Porto, David Raya of Brentford, and Jordan Pickford of Everton. However, these speculations did not progress beyond the rumor stage, primarily due to the inflated price tags. To provide context, Costa is valued by Porto at a hefty £70 million, while Raya and Pickford come in at £40 million and £45 million respectively.
Onana, who was instrumental in leading Inter to the UEFA Champions League final, has earned considerable acclaim. His dominance in the final was particularly noteworthy.
The addition of Onana would align well with manager Erik ten Hag’s preferred style of play. The two have a history, as Onana was a crucial figure in Ten Hag’s Ajax team that dazzled spectators in the 2018/19 Champions League.
One of the most sought-after skills in modern goalkeeping is the ability to distribute the ball from the back, often doubling as an additional centre-back during the build-up play. Onana’s ability in this area is top-notch, as demonstrated by his ball-playing skills during the UCL final where he bypassed Manchester City’s press with his dribbling outside the penalty area.
In contrast, David de Gea, who had a difficult last season and is not known for this style of play, may be replaced by Onana. The Player of the Year award winner four times over, De Gea is still considered a club legend, but the game appears to have moved on. The Spaniard’s substantial wages, despite a reported pay cut, have become a burden for the club.
The impact of a goalkeeper like Onana could be transformative for Manchester United, much like Alisson and Ederson were for Liverpool and Manchester City respectively.