Manchester United is one of the biggest clubs in the world and their transfer activity is always under limelight by the millions of fans worldwide who adore the club. The first season in the Premier League for Erik Ten Hag was filled with ebbs and flows. Under the reign of the Dutchman, Manchester United finished third in the Premier League and won the EFL Cup.
The lengthy negotiations with Chelsea for Mason Mount ended optimistically for the Red Devils with the 24-year-old midfielder being Erik’s first signing of this transfer window. United now have set their sights to replace their Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea with Inter Milan’s Andre Onana.
De Gea contract renewal at Manchester United hangs in balance following a 12-year stay
David de Gea is now a free agent after his contract with Manchester United expired in the late hours of Sunday. After a stint of 12 years at Old Trafford, it seems as though the 32-year-old goalkeeper has already said his goodbyes to the club. The club released an official statement, which said: “David De Gea’s contract is due to run out but discussions remain open with the long-serving keeper.”
Several reports suggest that the Spaniard is one of the highest earners in the Premier League with an annual contract of $23 million. Last season, David de Gea surpassed Peter Schmeichel to become the goalkeeper with the most clean sheets in the history of the club. In his 12-year stay at United, the Spanish goalkeeper made 545 appearances for the club which includes 147 clean sheets.
Onana priority target for Devil’s boss Erik Ten Hag
There is no doubting the fact that David de Gea is one of the best shot-stoppers in the world. But there are huge question marks on his abilities with the ball on his feet. Since his days at Ajax, Erik Ten Hag wants his team to have a possession-based approach and that’s the reason why the Dutchman is keen to reunite with his former number one, Andre Onana.
The Cameroon international came into the limelight after his pin-point distribution in the Champions League final against Manchester City. Inter Milan number one is on top of Erik Ten Hag’s list to replace his Spanish goalkeeper. Inter Milan CEO confirmed Manchester United’s interest in their goalkeeper by saying “Manchester United confirmed to us that they’re interested in Andre Onana. We are waiting for an official proposal in the next few days, then we will decide how to react right after.”
Inter CEO Marotta: “Manchester United confirmed to us that they’re interested in André Onana”. 🚨🔴 #MUFC
“We are waiting for an official proposal in the next days, then we will decide how to react right after”. pic.twitter.com/AxxzA7gIb8
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) June 30, 2023
Shot-stopper keepers turning into soccer relics with top teams opting for sweeper keepers
The game of football has evolved with time. In the present scenario, most of the coaches prefer to play a possession-based style of football and to implement that style, one of the key attributes is playing out from the back. The goalkeepers are a vital part of the process of playing out from the back and nowadays it has become a necessity for a goalkeeper to have the ability for pin-point distribution.
Talking about Andre Onana’s distribution, the treble winning coach Pep Guardiola said “With Onana, it’s difficult to make a high press properly because you cannot press that keeper. He’s exceptional with his feet. Really, really good.” In the modern game, the role of sweeper keepers has grown exponentially and that’s the reason behind many teams opting for a sweeper keeper over a shot-stopper.
🗣️ – Pep Guardiola on André Onana :
"With Onana, it's difficult to make a high press properly because you cannot press that keeper. He's exceptional with his feet. Really, really good." pic.twitter.com/ad5tTbwT31
— UtdXclusive (@UtdXclusive) June 30, 2023
With every passing day, the chances of seeing David de Gea in Manchester United colours again are getting slimmer. Erik Ten Hag certainly believes that getting a sweeper-goalkeeper is the best way forward and it is evident that the Dutchman is hoping for an Old Trafford reunion with his former Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana.