Andre Onana is considering missing the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) to allow him to focus on improving his form at Manchester United, according to a report by ESPN.
Rob Dawson reveals a source has described the goalkeeper as “reluctant” to take “time away” from Old Trafford in January, following his poor start to life in Manchester.
The Cameroonian had previously quit the international team following a public dispute with the manager, Rigobert Song, during the World Cup in Qatar.
The pair had reportedly disagreed over the team’s tactics, which eventually led to Onana leaving the squad during the tournament.
Onana agreed to return, however, for Cameroon’s final AFCON qualifying match, against Burundi.
A 3-0 victory secured Cameroon’s place at the tournament at the beginning of 2024, meaning Onana, if he attends the tournament, could miss a number of key fixtures for his club side.
The goalkeeper had reportedly told Old Trafford officials he had “no plans” to return to his international team during negotiations for his transfer over the summer.
Erik ten Hag is said to be “sympathetic” to Onana’s situation, however, given the pride any player would experience representing their country at a major international tournament.
Onana has been selected for Cameroon’s upcoming friendlies against Russia and Senegal, though he is yet to commit to playing at AFCON.
Further talks are scheduled to take place between the goalkeeper and Cameroonian officials over this prospective decision. These may now be impacted by Onana’s form at club level however.
He has been personally responsible for a number of costly mistakes since taking over the reigns from David De Gea as United’s number one. The match on Tuesday night against Galatasaray was lost, in large part, by Onana’s individual mistakes. The previous Champions League match was a similar story, with a howler conceded to put United 1-0 down after a promising start against Bayern Munich.
The goalkeeper is thought to be seriously considering skipping the AFCON tournament altogether, to allow him to “stay at Old Trafford….[and] show his commitment to United.”