Arsenal are keen on signing Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana in the summer transfer window, as the club plan for next season after a dismal current campaign.
The Gunners campaign got bad to worse as they exited from the Europa League on Thursday. They needed to win in the second leg against Villarreal, after losing the first leg 2-1. But they could only manage a 0-0 draw at the Emirates, resulting in their elimination from the tournament.
Mikel Arteta’s side are enduring their worst ever Premier League campaign. They currently lie ninth in the league table with only four games to go. And as things stand, they are in grave danger of not qualifying for any European competition for the first time in 26 years.
As a result, Arteta and technical director Edu have already started planning for next season, as they eye a squad revamp. They want to start with the goalkeeping position with interest in Ajax shot-stopper Onana.
Arsenal interested in Onana:
Arsenal’s interest in Onana goes back to last January when the club made contact with the player’s representatives. But no deal materialised and Onana decided to stay in Amsterdam.
The Gunners were again looking to sign a goalkeeper after Emiliano Martinez left the club in the summer. They again made contact about Onana’s availability but were unable to pay Ajax’s asking price for him. As a result, the club signed Alex Runarsson and then in January, Matt Ryan. But both the keepers are likely to leave the Emirates this summer. The club also want a keeper who can provide stiff competition to Bernd Leno.
And according to Goal, Arteta and Edu have re-ignited their interest in Onana and are eyeing a summer move for him. Ajax would want around £12 million for his services. But given his contract expires in 2022, the Amsterdam club will likely accept around £7 million for him.
This is despite the fact that the 25-year-old Cameroon international was handed a ban in February, when he tested positive for Furosemide following an out-of-competition test.
Onana to appeal for the ban:
Onana last started for Ajax in January, after failing a doping test in October 2020. He was ultimately suspended by UEFA from all football activities at both the international and national levels. The ban will last until February 2022. Following the positive test for Furosemide, Onana said that he accidentally took the banned medicine that was meant for his wife.
The La Masia graduate is currently serving a 12-month ban and is training solitarily with his won goalkeeping coach. But he has appealed to the CAS and the board will hear his appeal in early June.
Onana’s lawyers believe that if they are successful with their appeal, the ban will be reduced to eight months. This will allow Onana to start training with the team in June, two months before he would be available to start playing again.
This will also allow Onana to be available in the transfer market. Arsenal will be keeping a close tab on the Ajax goalkeeper’s situation and make a move for him if he is made available.