Manchester United are closing in on the signing of Inter Milan goalkeeper Andre Onana.
As reported by Manchester Evening News Friday United have held positive talks with Inter in recent weeks and are keen to get a deal over the line sooner rather than later. The Cameroonian has been installed as the club’s first-choice target to replace David de Gea.
Onana worked with United manager Erik ten Hag at Ajax and the former is understood to be keen to be reunited with the Dutchman in M16, just a year after joining Inter. He excelled in his debut season in Italy, helping Inter win two trophies and reach the Champions League final.
The 27-year-old is known as one of the best ball-playing goalkeepers in the world, meaning it is hardly surprising that Ten Hag intend to add him to their squad. The Dutchman wants to gradually transform United’s style of play and Onana would be key to making that happen, such is his ability in possession.
READ MORE: Andre Onana could help Erik ten Hag keep his Bayern Munich promise at United
He is never afraid to take a risk with the ball at his feet and instigate attacks from inside his own penalty area. His style has earned him accolades and accolades throughout his career.
With that in mind, MEN Sports has taken a closer look at what some of football’s biggest names have had to say about him and his career so far.
Erik ten Hag
Few people know Onana better than the United manager. He worked with the Cameroonian shot-stopper in Amsterdam and awarded him almost 150 appearances under his management, resulting in him once describing him as a “masterful goalkeeper”.
Ten Hag said: “Obviously he is not yet back to his pre-suspension level, but that cannot be expected of him. He will have to work hard to get back there and I am confident that he will succeed . We” have all seen that he is a masterful goalkeeper.”
City manager Guardiola was full of praise for Onana both before and after last month’s Champions League final in Istanbul. The Catalan praised Onana’s distribution before the game, citing him as Inter’s most dangerous players.
Guardiola explained: “For the way they play, with the high pressure, Onana is an exceptional goalkeeper to take the position to build up. Really, really good.”
Former Liverpool captain Gerrard waxed lyrical about Onana after Inter defeated cross-city rivals AC Milan 1-0 in the second leg of their Champions League semi-final back in May. Taking a 2-0 lead from the first leg, Inter easily progressed to the final, where Onana kept two clean sheets during the match.
“He can wear the No.10 on his back and still play,” Gerrard said, praising Onana’s ability. “He’s like Ederson. All night he’s under pressure, he’s under pressure, in sticky situations, he’s just calm, collecting and he can play long. He can also play short. I just love watching the ‘keeper. Tonight was fantastic.”
Former United defender Ferdinand waxed lyrical about Onana as recently as last week, giving his verdict on the prospect of him sealing a move to Old Trafford. He described him as a “modern goalkeeper” and believes he could make an impact at United.
Ferdinand explained: “He will give United more confidence and more ability to play from the back and I think he suits a Ten Hag team. He is a really modern goalkeeper. You see teams press him and he doesn’t go once in a panic. He gets the ball in, brings the press, says “come on, come to me” and when that player comes to him, he knows there’s a [teammate] propose somewhere else and he usually finds them.”
Bayern Munich goalkeeper Neuer announced himself as Onana’s No.1 fan after Ajax narrowly missed out on reaching the Champions League final back in 2019. The Dutch giants were famously knocked out by Tottenham Hotspur in a thrilling second-leg semi-final , who saw the Londoners. come back from 3-0 down on aggregate to book an English final with Liverpool.
Neuer said in a video message at the time: “Hey Onana, it’s Neuer from Munich. I’m your biggest fan. You played a very good season for Ajax. You and your guys deserved to be in the final, so don’t be too sad, maybe you get another chance in the future [to reach the Champions League final].”
Legendary Italian goalkeeper Buffon, speaking in May, described Onana as one of the best goalkeepers in the world, including him in his top five. The Cameroonian excelled in his first season at Inter, displacing Samir Handanovic as the club’s No.1.
“As for Onana, he made it clear from the start that his shoulders are broad enough to handle the Inter jersey,” Buffon said. “Fighting for the position with Samir Handanovic is also a tough fight. Right now I think both [Mike] Maignan and Onana are among the five best goalkeepers in the world.”