Inter Milan CEO Beppe Marotta insists that retaining Andre Onana was ‘not possible’ once Premier League giants Manchester United made a £47 million bid for him.

If any moment summed up exactly why Erik ten Hag was so keen to reunite with his former Ajax goalkeeper at Old Trafford – bombing out a modern-day legend in David de Gea in the process – it occurred about midway through the first-half during Saturday’s otherwise-dispiriting 2-0 defeat at Tottenham Hotspur.

Andre Onana strolled almost onto the halfway line, controlled a bouncing ball and fizzed a stunning, Paul Scholes-like pass out to the wing. Thus, cutting out a Spurs counter in one moment and starting a Manchester United attack the next.

As Onana demonstrated during Inter Milan’s Champions League final defeat to Manchester City, however, there is more to his game than a pinpoint passing range. The Cameroon international is a superb shot-stopper too. That penalty incident aside, United would probably have zero points on the board rather than three if it wasn’t for Onana; a one-man brick wall at times against Wolves last week.

FIGC 'Bilancio Integrato'
Photo by Vincenzo Lombardo/Getty Images

Andre Onana enjoys excellent Manchester United start

As for Inter, veteran CEO Marotta insists that the chance to make a 50 million euro profit on a player who joined from Ajax for free as recently in 2022 was one the Nerrazzuri could not pass up. Certainly not with their well-publicised Financial Fair Play issues.

“When a player is requested by a richer club, it’s difficult to keep him. It’s not possible for Italian clubs to turn down up certain sums,” Marotta tells Radio Serie A.

“Onana had arrived on a free transfer from a great club (Ajax) and left for more than 50 million euros while doubling his wages. We couldn’t compete and, at the same time, we found alternatives.

“We now need strong scouting, to find alternatives of a high-level and be ready for any eventuality.”

Crystal Palace in Dean Henderson talks

United could still look to bring in a second-choice ‘keeper before the window closes, especially with Crystal Palace picking up where Nottingham Forest left off in pursuit of Dean Henderson.

Benfica’s Odysseas Vlachodimos, per Fabrizio Romano, is the latest name in contention. United have also held talks with Feyenoord’s Justin Bijlow while missing out on Zion Suzuki.

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