Andre Onana, a goalkeeper from Cameroon who formerly played for Inter Milan, was acquired by Manchester United on Thursday in a transaction that has a potential value of £47 million ($57 million).
Onana will take over as the starting goalkeeper at Old Trafford after agreeing to a contract with the Premier League side that would keep him there for the next five years.
United will make an initial payment of £44 million for the 27-year-old player, with a potential add-on payment of £3.5 million contingent on the player’s performance.
“To join Manchester United is an incredible honor, and I have worked hard all of my life to get to this moment, overcoming many obstacles along the way,” Onana said in a statement released by United. “I have worked hard all of my life to get to this moment,”
“Walking out at Old Trafford to defend our goal and contribute to the team will be another one of life’s most unforgettable experiences.” This is the beginning of a new adventure for me, complete with different people to work with and different goals to strive towards.
After 12 years at Manchester United, De Gea parted ways with the Red Devils earlier this month.
The Spaniard had a difficult time adapting to Erik ten Hag’s penchant to play out from the back, and Onana looks to be a far more natural match for the coaching style of the Dutch coach.
After being discovered at Samuel Eto’o’s school in his native country, Onana signed with Barcelona when he was just 14 years old.
Onana left Camp Nou in 2015 to sign with Ajax, where he went on to win three Eredivisie championships under the coaching of Ten Hag. In the Netherlands, Onana’s previous club, Barcelona, did not promote him to the first squad.
However, in 2021, he was handed a doping suspension for using an illegal diuretic, which momentarily derailed his career.
Onana’s appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport resulted in the suspension being lowered from one year to nine months. His allegation was that he had mistakenly taken a medicine that was given to his wife.
When his contract with Ajax ran out a little more than a year ago, he was able to go for nothing and sign with Inter.
Due to the fact that Onana and Samir Handanovic split time in goal during the Inter captain’s last season with the club, Onana was only able to make 24 appearances in Serie A.
However, he was an ever-present for Inter in the Champions League and helped the team reach the final for the first time in 13 years while maintaining eight clean sheets in a total of 13 games.
Onana was a part of Cameroon’s starting lineup for their opening game at the World Cup in 2018, however he was benched for the remainder of the competition in Qatar due to a disciplinary problem. After the tournament, Onana declared that he was retiring from the international stage.
After acquiring England international midfielder Mason Mount from Chelsea earlier in July for an initial fee of £55 million, he becomes Manchester United’s second offseason acquisition.
It’s possible that Onana may make his debut for United this weekend in the friendly match against Arsenal that will take place in New Jersey.
Before the start of the new Premier League season, Ten Hag is also interested in acquiring the services of a forward.
The manager of United, who led the club to its first trophy in six years with last year’s League Cup victory, has been mentioned in connection with a possible offer for the Danish striker Rasmus Hojlund, who plays for Atalanta.