Barcelona and Inter Milan are reportedly battling to sign 25-year-old Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana, with the Serie A giants the front-runners in his pursuit.
According to a report by Catalan outlet El Nacional, Barcelona and Inter Milan are going head-to-head in pursuit of Andre Onana. However, the Serie A champions are leading the race to sign the 25-year-old Ajax goalkeeper, leaving the Blaugrana with an uphill task pursuing their former academy ace.
Andre Onana spent many of his formative years at Barcelona before joining Ajax in January 2015. Since then, he has come leaps and bounds, although the Cameroonian international did endure a setback after being banned for 12 months after testing positive for Furosemide, a banned substance he consumed by mistake.
Following an appeal by Ajax, the suspension was reduced to nine months, and he has since made his maiden appearance of the season to complete a popular return. However, Onana’s time at Ajax is coming to an end, as he is set to leave the Dutch club as a free agent once his contract runs out next summer. Such a situation has piqued the interest of Barcelona and Inter Milan.
The Catalan giants have been keeping tabs on Onana’s situation for quite some time now and could be set to launch the offensive for him. Such a suggestion might have seemed unimaginable before the start of the season, but Marc-Andre ter Stegen has endured an alarming drop in levels in the last two seasons, thereby forcing Barcelona to consider signing a replacement.
It has recently been suggested that Barcelona might not be opposed to the idea of selling ter Stegen, who has been linked with clubs like Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United. Cashing in on the German international will also enable Barcelona to fund moves for priority target Erling Haaland, considering Onana will arrive for nothing. However, face stiff competition from Inter Milan in pursuit of their former academy ace.
The interest from Inter Milan is understandable, as captain Samir Handanovic is 37 years old and approaching the end of his career. Hence, laying down a succession plan for their captain is imperative for the Serie A champions, who have reportedly identified Onana as the viable candidate that fits the profile.
According to El Nacional, Inter Milan are the front-runners in pursuit of the 25-year-old, leaving Barcelona with an uphill task in their bid to bring him back to the club. What now remains to be seen is if Barcelona can do anything to usurp the Serie A giants in the race to sign their former academy ace or if he ends up moving to San Siro.