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Transfer Talk: Inter stopper Onana set to snub Chelsea

Andre Onana

Andre Onana may be still in his debut season at Inter Milan but he remains a wanted man.

The Serie A giants only signed the goalkeeper from Ajax on a free transfer last summer.

Yet despite having made a successful start to life in Italy in which the Nerazzurri have reached two cup finals, there are Premier League teams hopeful of tempting the Cameroonian away from the San Siro.

Ahead of Inter’s Coppa Italia final against Fiorentina tonight, we take a look at Onana’s career so far and the likelihood of a transfer to England.

Brave move

In an era when goalkeepers are expected to be as good with their feet as they are with their hands, it is little wonder that Onana is in demand.

The 27-year-old was schooled at Barcelona’s La Masia academy as a teenager, where he was moulded into a goalkeeper fit for the Catalan’s possession-based game.

Not many players willingly walk away from Barca, but Onana did just that when aged only 18, turning down a new contract to move to Ajax in 2015.

It was both a brave and a smart move. His footballing education could continue and he quickly became a first-team regular, building a reputation as one of the best goalkeepers around.

Aside from his ability to operate as a sweeper-keeper, the 34-cap international is an exceptional shot-stopper, with lightning quick reflexes.

After Onana ran down his contract at Ajax, it was Inter that secured the custodian on a five-year contract. It has proved to be a wise decision by both parties.

Strongest team

Onana has settled in quickly at Inter and played his part in Simone Inzaghi’s side reaching the Coppa Italia and Champions League finals.

Despite this success story, Premier League clubs seem to be determined to test the resolve of the Milanese outfit to keep hold of their No24.

His former Ajax manager Erik ten Hag has been linked with a bid, while Chelsea are said to consider the African to be the solution to their problems between the sticks.

The good news for Inter is that Onana’s agent Albert Botines played down the speculation over the weekend.

He said: “Transfer market rumours are normal at this stage, but I prefer not to talk about it because it’s very early and now the boy is focused only on the pitch.

“We have a five-year contract with Inter. He has another four years on his contract and now he is focused only on Serie A and the Champions League final.

“He still has a long contract, don’t worry. He’s very happy, he’s playing for the strongest team in Italy.”

Big decisions

Inter may not have always looked like the strongest team in Italy this season but they are ending the campaign in such a fashion.

Inzaghi’s men are in contention to lift two further trophies, to go alongside their Supercoppa Italiana triumph, and with all-conquering champions Napoli likely to be picked apart by bigger clubs, the Nerazzurri will feel that they reclaim the Scudetto crown they last won in 2021.

To do so they will have to keep hold of their top players. Inter have had their financial problems in recent years, but they will have been eased somewhat by their Champions League run.

Onana is not afraid to make big decisions, as proved when he left Barca and his recent retirement from international football.

Right now, it feels a little too early for another one. A move to the Premier League is likely one day, though not while Inter are on the verge of such success.

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