It has been quite a day in the goalkeeping department at Manchester United.
It started this morning when Gazzetta dello Sport reported that Inter Milan star Andre Onana was apartment hunting in Manchester after the two clubs were approaching a €55 million deal to bring him to Old Trafford.
GdS said the deal was likely to be sealed on Tuesday or Wednesday and that it was just a case of United formalizing a third offer of over €50 million.
Then came Laurie Whitwell of The Athletic, who claimed that the deal was far from done and that even personal terms had not been agreed with the player.
Whitwell stated that there was still a chance that David de Gea would be reinstated at Old Trafford and that the club was planning face-to-face talks with the Spaniard to ascertain whether he would be willing to work alongside or instead of Onana, depending on the outcome of negotiations with the Serie A side.
Within just a couple of hours of Whitwell’s articles, De Gea, perhaps tired of all the rhetoric, took to social media to announce that he was leaving United and to say goodbye to the fans.
Shortly after that, The Daily Mail’s Chris Wheeler weighed in and claimed that United and Inter had in fact agreed a deal for Onana.
Enter the ever-reliable Fabrizio Romano, who has tweeted this evening his take on the Onana situation.
Romano contradicts The Athletic and Wheeler, saying that “new direct contacts between Inter and Man United [have been taking place] over the weekend”.
Romano also says that the “Official final bid next week to be accepted” and that “Clubs hope to have documents ready around Weds/Thurs.”
He also insisted that “Onana already agreed terms with Man Utd.”
Next steps for André Onana deal 🔴🇨🇲
◉ New direct contacts between Inter and Man United over the weekend;
◉ Official final bid next week to be accepted;
◉ Clubs hope to have documents ready around Weds/Thurs;
◉ Onana already agreed terms with Man Utd.
Matter of days 🏁 pic.twitter.com/jd0lDV291G
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 8, 2023
It could of course be the case that he is wrong and that Whitwell is right, but the fact that the latter got the De Gea situation so badly wrong suggests that The Athletic’s finger is as far off the pulse in this instance as De Gea’s fingers were from Ilkay Gundogan’s two FA Cup final goals.
GdS are not normally what we would considered to be the most reliable of outlets but they appear to have been spot on so far on the Onana saga. The fact that Romano is corroborating their claims (albeit moving Tuesday/Wednesday to Wednesday/Thursday) speaks volumes.
Another Tier 1 Italian journalist, Gianluca di Marzio, has also said pretty much the same, as has the intrepid Alfredo Pedulla.
One thing, at least, is certain: David de Gea has played his last game for Manchester United and unless Erik ten Hag intends to start the season with Dean Henderson and Tom Heaton as United’s keepers, a new signing will have to be made soon.