Arsenal have made an offer to sign Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana, following his hearing in the Court of Arbitration for Sport regarding an early end to his suspension.
According to The Times, Arsenal have made their interest in Andre Onana known early with an offer for the Ajax star. The highly-rated goalkeeper is currently serving a suspension after he was accused of doping, but it appears his ban could be cut short, following his hearing at the Court of Arbitration for Sport.
A product of La Masia youth academy, Onana has been out of action since the start of February. He was initially banned for 12 months, but that could be rescinded or at least reduced, once the CAS announces its decision, after going through a four-hour online hearing earlier this month.
An event of a reduced ban should see Onana become eligible to return to the pitch before the start of the 2021/22 campaign. It has put Arsenal on red alert, as they continue their search for a new goalkeeper, especially after a disappointing 2020/21 season that saw them miss out on European football for the first time in 25 years.
Ajax confirm that Andre Onana's four-hour online CAS hearing is over.
— Chris Wheatley (@ChrisWheatley_) June 2, 2021
Onana is no stranger when it comes to interest from top European clubs, as the Cameroonian international is widely regarded as one of the best young goalkeepers in Europe. At the age of just 25, the former La Masia talent has already notched up over 200 competitive appearances for Ajax, playing a vital role in the Champions League run in 2018 as well as two Eredivisie titles.
Arsenal’s interest in the Ajax goalkeeper stems from the struggles of Bernd Leno. The German international, who was favoured ahead of Emiliano Martinez last summer, has failed to live up to the expectations – a gamble that has cost Mikel Arteta dearly, as Martinez had emerged as one of the best signings of the recently concluded 2020/21 campaign.
Since then, the Gunners have been linked with multiple goalkeepers including former custodian Wojciech Szczesny. The former Arsenal goalkeeper, though, is expected to cost around €25 million.
It is a bit too much given the current financial climate, making Andre Onana a reasonable cost-effective alternative. The Cameroonian goalkeeper is reportedly valued at just €7 million, which could turn out to be a bargain given the experience and talent he offers to the table. Arsenal, in fact, can register a significant profit if they can sign Onana and sell Leno in the summer.
Arteta, though, might need to sign a replacement as Runar Alex Runarsson is also unwanted by the club. An automatic option is Mat Ryan, who is expected to return to Brighton & Hove Albion after serving a short-term loan spell at the Emirates, with reports pointing towards Arsenal completing his permanent signing.