Manchester United fought off competition from Premier League rivals Chelsea to sign Inter Milan goalkeeper Andre Onana, according to the Cameroon international’s agent.

A few months ago, when David de Gea looked set to sign a new deal at Old Trafford, the most likely destination for Andre Onana appeared to be Stamford Bridge, rather than Manchester United.

Chelsea showed an interest towards the back end of last season.

According to Albert Botines, Onana’s agent, Mauricio Pochettino’s side even had a ‘meeting’ with Inter Milan in London. But, as with Lisandro Martinez and Antony during the summer of 2022, the chance to reunite with former Ajax boss Erik ten Hag proved too good for Onana to turn down, the Red Devils boss eventually getting his man after De Gea paid the ultimate price for one high-profile blunder too many. 

READ: Confirmed Manchester United transfers in, out, loans, releases, youth for 2023/24

Manchester United Pre-Season Training Session
Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

Man United beat Chelsea to Andre Onana

“It all started a few months ago,” Botines tells Calciomercato. “Towards April, many inquired about the player.

“Chelsea had a very strong interest. There were meetings in London, and Chelsea also met with Inter. But Ten Hag was key.”

Onana won a trio of Eredivisie titles alongside Ten Hag at the Johan Cruyff Arena, and the one-time Barcelona youngster is already aiming for the biggest prizes after securing his £47 million move to Manchester United.

Onana, meanwhile, will be equally determined to take some measure of revenge on Manchester City; his outstanding performance in June’s Champions League final undone by Rodri’s winner and Romelu Lukaku’s profligacy.

David de Gea’s replacement through the door

“We’re looking forward to facing great managers like (Pep) Guardiola. (We are hoping to) win titles with Manchester United,” Botines adds. “We have a great desire to ‘rock’.”

The self-confident, swaggering Onana certainly has the makings of a rock-star goalkeeper; an outstanding shot-stopper one minute and a deep-lying playmaker the next. Onana’s outstanding passing range and almost press-resistant qualities led to Guardiola himself describing the 27-year-old as an ‘exceptional’ talent after their UCL decider in Istanbul.

Onana could make his United debut against Real Madrid in tonight’s pre-season clash.

Related Topics