Arsenal face competition to sign Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana as rival interest has grown since the verdict by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) to reduce his doping ban.
Onana had been serving a year-long suspension following a positive out-of-competition test for Furosemide but after appealing UEFA’s original punishment, the Ajax goalkeeper had his ban reduced to nine months by CAS.
That has led to increased interest in the 25-year-old, who will be allowed to leave Ajax this summer before his contract expires at the end of the 2021-22 season.
Have Arsenal made an offer?
Arsenal have been monitoring Onana’s situation closely during the past few months having initially been interested in signing him last January.
Technical director Edu and manager Mikel Arteta are big admirers of the Cameroon international, but the Gunners have yet to firm up their interest with an official offer.
Arsenal have held discussions with Onana’s representatives, but have yet to decide whether they will step up their pursuit of the keeper.
The situation is complicated by the uncertainty over Bernd Leno. Arsenal’s current No.1 is open to a move away but is in no rush to decide his future due to his involvement with Germany at Euro 2020.
That could cause an issue because although Onana is keen on a move to Arsenal, he wants to join a club where he would be first choice and that would not be certain should Leno still be around.
Rival interest intensifies
Arsenal can’t afford to wait too long before deciding whether to push through with a move for Onana.
The keeper is now attracting strong interest from around Europe, with Ajax keen on getting a deal done as quickly as possible for a player they would lose for nothing in 2022.
A club who finished in the top eight of the Premier League last season has now made contact over a potential transfer, while there is also strong interest from sides in France.
When can Onana play again?
Due to the terms of his suspension, Onana has been unable to even train with Ajax since February and has been working on his fitness with a personal trainer on local pitches in Amsterdam.
He will be allowed to start competitive training again two months before the end of his ban. He will then be available for selection from November 3 onwards.