Manchester United are a little further away from clinching a deal for Inter Milan goalkeeper Andre Onana than Italian reports are claiming, according to a trusted UK source.
Bastions of the Italian transfer rumour world, Gianluca Di Marzio and Fabrizio Romano, have both reported that the two sides are very close to an agreement, with virtually any improvement on United’s last bid likely to seal the deal.
Italian sources have also said the deal is likely to be wrapped up in the coming week, with Gazzetta dello Sport even naming Tuesday or Wednesday as the dates pencilled in the diaries of all concerned.
However, The Athletic’s Laurie Whitwell sounds a word of caution today.
Whitwell says that “there is still a gap in valuations between the clubs that is predicted to require multiple rounds of talks to work through.”
The reporter says there is confidence that a deal can be reached as long as the Nerazzurri lower their €60 million expectations, something that the Italian media seem to believe will happen.
Even so, Whitwell believes that “a potential deal is expected to be several days away” and that there is a race against time with all parties wanting the matter resolved before United leave on their pre-season tour on July 19th.
“The speed of United’s process is guided by getting sign-off from co-owner Joel Glazer while also balancing a budget influenced by financial fair play considerations,” Whitwell adds, despite The Peoples Person’s own analysis having refuted the FFP considerations as arbitrary at best and fabricated at worst.
Another point of deviation from the Italian reports is that Whitwell claims Onana has not yet fully agreed personal terms with United.
The reporter also states that David de Gea has not disappeared off the scene altogether, with “face-to-face” talks planned between keeper and club “to see if he could envision himself staying at United alongside another No 1.”
Whitwell adds that “Ten Hag was pivotal to the change of opinion over De Gea and pursuit of Onana.”
Dean Henderson and Tom Heaton are the only United keepers back in training, the reporter notes, with Henderson still recovering from injury. They are being pursued by Nottingham Forest and Luton Town, respectively, and United could therefore also be in the market for a second keeper, with Japan’s Zion Suzuki and Feyenoord’s Justin Bijlow mentioned.