Chelsea chiefs have met with Inter Milan regarding a deal for goalkeeper Andre Onana, according to reports in Italy.
Will Chelsea sign a goalkeeper this summer?
The Blues look all set to appoint former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino in the coming weeks, with several reports suggesting the Argentine is on the brink of replacing Frank Lampard in the Stamford Bridge dugout.
Pochettino’s first job may well be to identify a new goalkeeper, with neither Kepa Arrizabalaga or Edouard Mendy covering themsleves in glory over the last 18 months. Todd Boehly has allegedly identified Brentford’s David Raya as a possible option, but Onana’s name has popped up more than most, with an update this week claiming Pochettino has actually already approved the deal.
Now, a report from Sport Mediaset, via Sport Witness, delivers a further update on the pursuit of the Cameroon star, revealing Inter and Chelsea have actually already met to “set the stakes for a negotiation” that will begin “in the coming weeks”.
Inter are asking for at least €40m, which translates to roughly £35m, while Chelsea are trying to include a player in the deal to bring that price tag down. The Serie A outfit have so far been unreceptive to such an offer, with Kepa, Trevoh Chalobah and Ruben Loftus-Cheek the players who could possibly go the other way in such a move.
Should Chelsea sign Onana?
The 27 year-old has had an interesting career to say the least. First choice for his country at 20, a Europa League finalist at 21 and a Champions League semi-finalist at 23, the former Ajax shot-stopper missed nine months of football back in 2020 for a false positive on a doping test after he took some shop-bought paracetamol.
Since returning from that unfortunate event however, the 6 foot 3 giant has gone from strength to strength, racking up 34 caps for Cameroon and keeping 16 clean sheets in his 34 appearancs with Inter, playing a crucial part in their surprising run to this year’s Champions League semi-finals.
Dubbed a “superstar” by renowned African journalist Oma Akatugba, Onana ranks in the 89th percentile of goalkeepers in Europe’s top five league for save percentage, and would surely be an upgrade on Kepa and Mendy, who rank in the 79th and 17th respectively.
If Pochettino is indeed seeking a goalkeeper who can stand between the sticks at Stamford Bridge for the forseeable future, he could do a lot worse than the 27 year-old Onana.
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