Erik ten Hag was ‘key’ in Andre Onana’s move to Manchester United as the goalkeeper rejected moves to Chelsea and Tottenham.
Onana completed the £44 million move from Inter Milan to Manchester United last week, reuniting with Erik ten Hag after the pair had worked together at Ajax.
United’s need for a new number one intensified after David de Gea’s deal at Old Trafford was not renewed, with United targeting Onana as they looked for a more modern and progressive goalkeeper.
Onana had showcased his qualities on the ball as Inter Milan made it all the way to the Champions League final, and had been linked to a number of Premier League sides.
According to his agent, Albert Botines, the Cameroon international was wanted by both Tottenham and Chelsea, though Ten Hag’s presence at United was ‘key’ to the Red Devils winning the race for his signature.
“It all started around April, many people inquired,” Botines told Calciomercato. “Tottenham asked for information, Chelsea were very interested. There were meetings in London and Chelsea met Inter, but Ten Hag was the key.”
Onana made his debut for United during the 2-0 defeat to Real Madrid in Houston, Texas on Wednesday evening, and Ten Hag was pleased with his goalkeeper’s first outing despite the loss.
“When you play against Real Madrid, you will concede chances because it is a very good team with very good football players,” he told MUTV. “But, overall, we did quite well and in the moment we conceded chances, he was there. I think everyone has seen, he has made a good debut.”
The Dutchman admitted that there is ‘a lot of work to do’ to forge a connection between his new goalkeeper and the defence, but believes it will ‘come quickly’.
“We have a lot of work to do between him and the defending part. You could see the second goal where we are not closing the back post, it can’t be that and a goal will come there and that’s things that are the rules we have to follow. It will come quickly that we integrate that into our way of play.”