It is a “matter of hours” before Manchester United agree a deal to sign Andre Onana from Inter Milan, according to reports.
The Cameroonian keeper is manager Erik ten Hag’s choice to replace David de Gea between the sticks at Old Trafford after United tore up a new contract that the Spaniard had signed.
Onana worked with Ten Hag at Ajax and whilst he endured a difficult period at that time, being banned for 9 months for failing a drug test that he later claimed to have been sleeping pills, the now United boss identified him as a top star.
Last season, Ten Hag was proven right as the 27 year old dazzled during the World Cup and was arguably Inter’s star player as they unexpectedly reached the Champions League final.
Yesterday, transfer guru Fabrizio Romano reported that the Red Devils had had a second bid for Onana of €45 million plus €5 million in variables rejected.
Inter had been holding out for a package worth €60 million, but it was widely reported that a compromise could be reached.
According to this morning’s paper edition of Corriere dello Sport (page 6), that compromise is now just hours away.
“It is proceeding and it is on the wire in hours, given that the English club already has a strong agreement in principle found with the Cameroonian goalkeeper, on the basis of a five-year contract,” the outlet reported.
CdS’s claim is backed up by tier 1 Dutch journalist Mike Verweij, who writes: “Erik ten Hag’s club is approaching an agreement with Internazionale about the transfer fee of approximately 55 million euros and has an outline agreement with the goalkeeper himself.”
Gazzetta dello Sport (today’s paper edition, page 2) claims also that “in hours there will be a yes for €50 million plus bonuses”.
Another Tier 1 reporter, Gianluca Di Marzio, said yesterday that it is “just a matter of time” before a deal is struck at €55 million.
CdS also note that Onana seems to already be saying his goodbyes on social media.
They cite: “That cryptic message posted yesterday on social media by the goalkeeper can be more than a clue: ‘Every life has a story and every story has an end. Never make fun of anyone’”.
The outlet also points to activity from the Nerazzurri in approaching two possible replacements, Shakhtar Donetsk’s Anatolij Trubin and Bayern Munich’s Yann Sommer, who, coincidentally was also reported to be United’s backup should the Onana deal not come to fruition.
Both clubs want a swift conclusion to the deal and €50m plus €5 million in easily achieved variables seems now to be the magic number. However, United fans will not be celebrating yet as they have all to often seen the club’s negotiators snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.