Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana, who is a summer transfer target for Chelsea, is intent on securing a return to boyhood club Barcelona.
According to a report from Spanish publication Sport, Chelsea have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana, as the Cameroonian is prepared to wait for former club Barcelona to come up with an offer in the summer.
Onana is a product of Barcelona’s famed La Masia academy. However, with no clear route to the first-team, the goalkeeper left the club to join Ajax in 2015. The 24-year-old has been a first-team regular in Amsterdam since 2016, and has grown into a key player for the Dutch heavyweights.
With the Eredivisise season cancelled, Onana seems to have played his last match for Ajax and is likely to be on his way out of the club this summer. The 24-year-old seemed to confirm as much with a post on his Instagram that read (h/t Express), “This journey ends with an empty stadium, but full of pride and satisfaction. Thanks for all the love and support.”
Chelsea have been hot on the trails of Onana for a while now. The Blues’ boss Frank Lampard hasn’t been convinced by Kepa Arrizalabaga and had dropped the Spaniard for a run of games earlier this year. While the world’s most expensive goalkeeper reclaimed his spot before the Premier League was suspended, question marks over his future still remain.
Moreover, with Willy Caballero’s contract also on the verge of expiry, Chelsea are in need of a new goalkeeper. Having already signed Hakim Ziyech from Ajax, the West London outfit were planning another raid on the Dutch outfit for Onana.
However, Barcelona are also interested in signing the 24-year-old Cameroonian international. The Catalans’ goal is currently guarded by one of the best in the business in Marc-Andre ter Stegen. But, recent reports have linked him with a return to Germany as Bayern Munich eye him as a replacement for veteran custodian Manuel Neuer.
Moreover, the report states that Barcelona are prepared to offload second-choice goalkeeper Neto this summer. And as soon as they have moved the Brazilian on, they want to bring Onana back to Camp Nou. The La Liga champions have already sounded out the 24-year-old about a potential transfer and he too has his heart set on a return to his boyhood club.
While nothing is set in stone yet, this development ought to come as a major blow for Chelsea’s hopes of landing the Cameroonian. It now remains to be seen where Frank Lampard turns his attention to, in order to bolster his goalkeeping department ahead of next season.