Manchester United announced the signing of Andre Onana from Inter Milan last Thursday after a fee in the region of £43 million plus £4 million in add-ons was agreed.

The Cameroon international met his new teammates in New Jersey on Thursday and looks set to be Erik ten Hag’s new number-one going into the new season.

But things could have looked a whole lot different for United as it has emerged who the Red Devils were originally interested in.

AC Milan v FC Internazionale - Serie A
Photo by Mattia Ozbot – Inter/Inter via Getty Images

Mike Maignan was of interest to United

According to The Athletic, United viewed Mike Maignan as a feasible option as their new number one and rated the Frenchman highly according to the report.

It is also reported that executives from United and AC Milan met prior to Milan’s Champions League semi-final defeat, ironically, against Onana’s Inter Milan.

The Frenchman, who is reportedly a target for Chelsea according to The Telegraph, was too expensive for United, with AC Milan, after losing Sandro Tonali to Newcastle for €70 million (£60 million), valuing Maignan at €100 million (£86 million). United ultimately felt that £86 million was, unsurprisingly, too expensive for the 28-year-old.

United’s attention turned to Onana following FA Cup defeat

Following the 2-1 FA Cup final defeat to Manchester City, the flimsy goalkeeping of David De Gea on Ilkay Gundogan’s second goal and the Spaniard’s struggles in possession meant Ten Hag decided he couldn’t wait any longer to sign a new number one according to the same report.

It’s reported that in the days leading up to Inter’s Champions League final against City, Ten Hag began to ask whether doing a deal for his former goalkeeper at Ajax would be feasible.

Onana’s electrifying performance in the cup final will have hardly put off Ten Hag and five weeks later, following a protracted chase of Mason Mount, United agreed a deal with Inter to sign Onana.

There is no question United made the right choice in choosing the former Barcelona academy player over Maignan.

Despite the Frenchman’s obvious qualities, Onana was around £40 million cheaper and knows the way that Ten Hag likes to play and he has the charisma and confidence to fit seamlessly into being number one at Old Trafford.

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