Manchester United signs Inter Milan’s goalkeeper Andre Onana

Inter Milan's Cameroonian goalkeeper #24 Andre Onana holds onto the ball during the UEFA Champions League final football match between Inter Milan and Manchester City at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium in Istanbul, on June 10, 2023. (Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFP) (Photo by MARCO BERTORELLO/AFP via Getty Images)

On Thursday, Manchester United signed Cameroonian goalkeeper Andre Onana from Inter Milan in a transaction that might ultimately cost Sh8.6 billion.

With a five-year contract in place, Onana will take over as the starting goalkeeper at Old Trafford from David de Gea.

The 27-year-old will cost United an initial Sh8 billion, with a further Sh639 million payable in performance-related add-ons.

After 12 years at United, De Gea left the Red Devils earlier this month.

The Spanish player had trouble adjusting to Erik ten Hag’s preference to play out from the back, and Onana seems to fit the Dutch coach’s way of thinking much better.

After being seen at Samuel Eto’o’s academy in his native country, Onana signed with Barcelona when he was just 14 years old.

Onana joined Ajax in 2015 and won three Eredivisie titles under Ten Hag in the Netherlands after failing to enter the starting lineup at Camp Nou.

However, a doping suspension for ingesting a prohibited diuretic briefly ended his career in 2021.

Onana claimed that he had mistakenly taken a medication that his wife had been prescribed, and the Court of Arbitration for Sport lowered his one-year suspension to nine months after hearing his appeal.

When his contract with Ajax expired, he left on a free transfer and joined Inter a little more than a year ago.

Samir Handanovic and Onana shared the goalkeeping duties during the Inter captain’s final season at the club, which limited Onana to just 24 Serie A matches.

He was, however, a constant in the Champions League, with eight shutouts in 13 games as Inter made its first final appearance in 13 years.

Onana participated in Cameroon’s opening match at the 2014 World Cup, but he was benched for the remainder of the tournament in Qatar due to a disciplinary issue, and he later announced his retirement from international competition.

After acquiring England midfielder Mason Mount from Chelsea earlier in July for an initial Sh10 billion, he is United’s second close-season acquisition.

Onana might make his United debut against Arsenal in a friendly on Saturday in New Jersey.

Before the new Premier League season begins, Ten Hag is also eager to add a forward.

The United manager, who last season helped his team end a six-year trophy drought by winning the League Cup, has been linked to a move for Rasmus Hojlund of Atalanta of Denmark.

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