Onana reveals he turned down Barcelona: It wasn’t the right time to return

Andre Onana Ajax 2019Getty Images

Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana has said that he rejected the chance to move back to Barcelona over the summer, while he also admitted there was interest from Paris Saint-Germain.

Although a firm approach from the Ligue 1 champions never materialised, with PSG ultimately moving for Real Madrid shot-stopper Keylor Navas, there was a prospect of returning to Camp Nou, where Onana came through the academy.

Back at the Primera Division side, though, Onana would have faced competition for the No.1 role from Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who is widely regarded as one of the top keepers in the game at present.

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Onana impressed as Ajax reached the semi-finals of the Champions League last term, but he did not feel it was the correct moment for a return to his formative club.

“Barca came back for me this summer,” the 23-year-old Cameroon star told RMC Sport. “It’s my home, I was part of that club. They always want one of their own to re-sign.

“But it was not the right time to return. Maybe I’ll never get another chance! But it was not a good time to do it this summer.”

Speaking of interest from PSG, he said: “I had feedback from PSG. I had discussions with my agent. He told me of Paris and what he wanted to do.”

Andre Onana, Victor Osimhen

He was, however, tight-lipped on how these talks developed.

“What happened remains between professionals,” he said. “These are the things that are managed with my agent. We talked about it several times and he told me that PSG were interested.”

Ajax have followed up their memorable 2018-19 campaign with a strong start this time around, despite losing key players, such as Frenkie de Jong and Matthijs de Ligt, over the summer to Barca and Juventus respectively.

Undefeated, they top the Eredivisie by three points after 10 games and have made a perfect start in the Champions League, recording 3-0 wins over both Lille and Valencia. On Wednesday, they will face their next challenge in the European Cup when they face Chelsea at the Johan Cruyff ArenA.

Samuel Eto'o Academy graduate Onana has played every minute of Ajax's competitive campaign thus far, keeping nine clean sheets.