As things stand, Erik Ten Hag’s sole goalie options come July 1st will be a free agent Dean Henderson and a 37-year-old Tom Heaton. Even Heaton’s future is questionable, with Hull City confirming their interest this week.
The arrival of some much-needed clarity cannot come soon enough, with the next few days going to be key in Ten Hag’s efforts to build a Manchester United team more in line with his possession-based image.
Ten Hag may be set to have his own ‘Joe Hart for Ederson moment’ by replacing David de Gea with Andre Onana, following in the footsteps of Pep Guardiola and replacing a long-serving shot-stopper with a goalkeeper whose passing range would make even Andrea Pirlo blush.
Manchester United is in discussions with Inter Milan goalkeeper Andre Onana.
At Ajax, Andre Onana worked under Ten Hag. In Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy, he polished his extraordinary technical talent. And, with cash-strapped Inter potentially willing to accept bids of roughly £42 million, there is a lot to admire for a Manchester United side operating on a tight budget while the tiresome takeover process continues.
According to Gianluca di Marzio, Onana’s representative was in Manchester this week for discussions. The Standard adds that Inter ‘won’t stand in his way,’ with the 26-year-old Cameroon international ready to go to the Premier League.
In reality, they can’t afford it.
In recent days, Onana appears to have surpassed Porto’s Diogo Costa as United’s top goalkeeper target. That could be because Ten Hag knows and trusts him – the Dutchman described Onana as masterful during their time together in Holland – and Onana’s outstanding performance in the Champions League final defeat to Manchester City added another layer of luster to his already gleaming reputation.
Meanwhile, United star Gary Neville believes that the time has come to move on from De Gea.
“They do need to get rid of him,” Neville says in an interview with Sky Sports The Overlap podcast. “Either now or, if they don’t have the money, a year later is the absolute maximum.”
“I concur with Roy (Keane).” A league’s goalie is everything (title challenge). You must have a fantastic goalkeeper. You must have an outstanding goalie.”