Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Man Utd abandon £65m transfer, as Ten Hag goes all out for cheaper alternative

FC Porto goalkeeper Diogo Costa

Man Utd have ended their pursuit of a star who can be signed for £65m, though the cheaper alternative they’re chasing may actually be the superior player anyway, per reports.

The Red Devils are reportedly working with just a £120m transfer budget this summer. Explaining why, ESPN claimed United are paying the price for mistakes made by the Ed Woodward regime.

Indeed, forking out £73m for Jadon Sancho and making David de Gea the world’s highest paid goalkeeper on £375,000-a-week were key examples cited.

ESPN also revealed Erik ten Hag’s ‘dream’ trio of signings this summer are Andre Onana, Mason Mount and Harry Kane.

Mount is expected to complete his move from Chelsea at some stage this week. However, the £60m he’ll cost leaves United hampered when it comes to signing a goalkeeper and striker.

Regarding the former, the likes of David Raya, Diogo Costa and Onana have all been reported to be on United’s radar by varying outlets.

However, according to Portuguese publication Correio da Manha, Costa can now be removed from that list.

Via the Manchester Evening News, it’s claimed Man Utd have ended their pursuit of the FC Porto ace.

Costa, 23, is Portugal’s No 1 and his deal with Porto contains a release clause worth €75million (£65m). Per the report, United now have zero intention of triggering it.

Instead, the report adds United are now ‘focused’ on signing Inter Milan’s Andre Onana.

Andre Onana links heat up; Inter braced for bids

The Cameroon stopper is four years older than Costa, though at 27, he’s only now entering his prime years as a goalkeeper.

Fabrizio Romano reported Inter will demand “at least €50m/€55m” for Onana, though that still makes him a significantly cheaper option to Costa.

What’s more, if Onana’s displays in last year’s Champions League are anything to go by, he may be the superior option anyway.

Onana led all UCL keepers in the clean sheets category (eight) last season. His mark of 6.8 also saw him top the goals prevented category ahead of Real Madrid’s Thibaut Courtois (5.9).

What’s more, Onana is a known commodity for Ten Hag given their shared time together at Ajax between 2017-22.

Talks between Man Utd and Onana’s camp have already taken place, while Inter CEO, Beppe Marotta, revealed his side are braced for an official bid.

“Manchester United confirmed to us that they are interested in Andre Onana” Marotta said last Friday. “We are waiting for an official proposal in the next days, then we will decide how to react right after.”

With Diogo Costa seemingly out of the mix, a much-anticipated first bid for Onana could be just around the corner.

The player he’d replace – David de Gea – saw his Man Utd contract expire at midnight on June 30.

The Independent claimed there could remarkably be a way back for De Gea who will hold another round of talks with the club very shortly.

However, United have twice attempted to greatly reduce De Gea’s personal terms. What’s more, the Spaniard’s lack of ability in possession makes him a poor fit for Ten Hag, thus making signing a new stopper the sensible option – if United’s budget can accommodate, of course.

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