- United are set to confirm the signing of Onana from Inter on a five-year contract
- The Cameroon goalkeeper was their top target to replace David de Gea
- After completing her doctorate in Manchester, Onana is now on her way to the US
Andre Onana was spotted heading to New York on Thursday after completing his Manchester United medical, with the £43million goalkeeper set to link up with his new team-mates on their pre-season tour.
United are poised to confirm the signing of Onana, 27, from Inter Milan on a five-year contract with the option of a further 12 months after identifying him as their top target to replace David de Gea this summer.
De Gea called time on his 12-year spell at Old Trafford earlier this month after failing to agree a new deal – prompted by manager Erik ten Hag’s reservations over his fitness as the club prepare to challenge for bigger silverware.
Ten Hag and Co identified Onana as their preferred candidate to succeed him between the sticks, and after agreeing an initial £43m deal. with Inter, the shot stopper was seen arriving in Manchester for his medical on Tuesday.
Two days later, the Cameroonian has been spotted at Manchester Airport after apparently completing a medical, allowing him to fly to New York and link up with the team ahead of official confirmation of his move.
If announced in time, Onana could make his debut against Arsenal on Saturday in New Jersey before featuring in the subsequent games against Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund.
Arriving at Milan airport on Tuesday, catching a flight to Birmingham ahead of his medical, United’s new No.1 shared his thoughts on the move with Sports newspaper.
“The important thing is to be honest and always tell people the truth,” said the former Ajax shot-stopper. ‘I am a person who always wants new challenges.
– Playing in the Premier League and for a club like United is irresistible. All parties wanted it to happen.
“But what matters is that even if I had stayed I would have been just as happy because I never had any problems at Inter. A magic was actually born in Milan that is almost hard to explain.’
Asked how he felt about following in the footsteps of famous Man United goalkeepers such as Peter Schmeichel, Edwin van de Sar and David de Gea, Onana added: ‘To be chosen to continue this tradition makes me proud and responsible: I want to win trophies with my new companions.’
Onana previously played for Ten Hag during the latter’s time at Ajax, having risen through the academy ranks, and the Dutch manager was keen to facilitate a reunion as Man United stepped up their interest in the Serie A star after completing the £60m signing of Mason Mount earlier this month.
The goalkeeper is particularly strong with the ball at his feet, an area of weakness in De Gea’s game that Ten Hag was set to strengthen in the summer window.
Since moving to Inter Milan ahead of last season, Onana has made 41 appearances in all competitions and helped spark Simone Inzaghi’s successful Copa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana bids.
Onana was also in the Champions League final, where the Milanese club lost 1-0 to Manchester City in Istanbul in June.
The signing of Onana will take the club’s spending past the £100m mark and allow efforts to focus on the remaining priority of Ten Hag’s summer squad overhaul: securing a striker.
Man United may look set to once again raid the Italian league, with Atalanta’s Rasmus Hojlund the club’s number one target in the position.
Winning the goalkeeper’s signature could also allow Dean Henderson to complete a £20 move to Nottingham Forest.
The 26-year-old spent last season on loan at the club before his campaign was cut short by injury, and is keen to return to the City Ground and reclaim the No.1 spot.
37-year-old Tom Heaton signed a one-year contract extension earlier in the window to provide cover in the face of a looming goalkeeping crisis, but should Man United make a move for £5million-rated Japanese goalkeeper Zion Suzuki, the club could yet give the go-ahead for his move to Luton Town.
Suzuki, 20, became the youngest player in the history of J-League side Urawa Reds to sign a professional contract at the age of 16, making his senior debut for the Japan national team in 2022.
David de Gea, now a free agent, is reportedly eyeing a return to Spain after 12 years in Manchester, with Sevilla seeking his signature if their highly-rated shot-stopper Yassine Bounou leaves this summer.
The Moroccan international has been linked with both Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich.