Arsenal have been speculated as the club trying to hijack the deal for Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana to move to Lyon, according to Dutch reports.
Onana seemed all set to join Lyon recently, but the move has not gone through. There is now some confusion over the situation and Arsenal may be getting involved. The Gunners have been in the background for Onana for a few months and there are growing hints that they are behind the delay in his Lyon move.
The Cameroon goalkeeper is currently serving a ban for taking a prohibited substance. He has protested his innocence, claiming he took the substance from his wife’s medicine inadvertently, and has seen the length of his suspension reduced. However, he still won’t be available until November.
Due to the circumstances, plus the fact that Onana is out of contract in the summer, Ajax are reluctantly willing to let him leave for a cut-price figure. Onana may only cost a seven-figure sum, despite being regarded as one of the best goalkeepers playing in Europe.
Therefore, several clubs would be willing to invest in him despite being unable to use him for a few months. Lyon have been particularly keen due to the presence of Peter Bosz as their coach; he previously launched Onana at Ajax.
For whatever reason, it now seems as if the move to Ligue 1 won’t be happening. According to De Telegraaf, it is because “bigger clubs” have been making moves.
They mention Arsenal as the potential rival party, since they possessed a “serious” interest in Onana before he began negotiating with Lyon.
The Gunners are currently looking for stronger competition for Bernd Leno. Runar Alex Runarsson failed to impress after joining last summer, prompting the loan addition of Mat Ryan in January.
Arsenal did not sign the Brighton man permanently, instead letting him join Real Sociedad. They are thus having to look elsewhere.
It seems Onana could be back on the agenda, although L’Equipe think he will wait until January to decide his future. By doing so, he could sign a pre-contract agreement with a bigger signing fee.
As per De Telegraaf, though, a move this summer is still possible and Arsenal may be the ones to benefit.
Arsenal questioned over keeper situation
Another keeper Arsenal are pursuing is Aaron Ramsdale of Sheffield United, although the England international would be much more expensive.
For that reason, they have been questioned by pundits for their choices in the transfer market.
“It’s bizarre,” Danny Mills told Football Insider recently. “Go and get Freddie Woodman for £10million. If you want a back up goalkeeper, there you go.
“He’s got good experience, a decent goalkeeper. He’s coming through and will cost you probably less than half.
“Aaron Ramsdale is not like ‘Wow, outstanding goalkeeper worth more than £30million’. It seems like a lot of money for what you’re getting.
“You don’t look at him last season and go ‘Wow’. Look at Dean Henderson’s season in the Premier League with Sheffield United and if somebody bought him for £30million you get it.
“I know Aaron Ramsdale got in the England squad but there weren’t too many goalkeepers around and there were injuries. £30million seems a lot, an awful lot.”
If possible, Onana may be the best value-for-money of the lot. His move to Lyon would reportedly have cost less than €6m.