More stale bread for these quarantine times, this time delivered by Ajax insider Freek Jansen on the latest episode of his “Pantelic Podcast” (not to be confused with the Danilo Pantić Podcast, which doesn’t exist).
I don’t speak Dutch but Google Translate does, and thanks to that wonderful invention, we can learn (via Ajax Showtime) that Jansen has no doubt that highly coveted goalkeeper André Onana will leave Ajax this summer, and that those in charge in Amsterdam have been working on a successor for quite some already. This isn’t an outlandish claim by any means, and many will have expected it already — it’s what tends to happen to most young players who rise to prominence at the club. Onana’s certainly done so since arriving from Barcelona’s academy in 2015.
Now 23, Onana’s been unsurprisingly linked with a return to Barca (which snowball nicely with the Ter Stegen exit rumors there), but Chelsea have been just as prominent in the rumor mill, with recent stories claiming that Onana sees Chelsea as an ideal destination, that Chelsea have reciprocated that interest in kind, and that Hakim Ziyech is already contributing to the Chelsea cause by hoping to convince his good friend to come along with him to Stamford Bridge.
All that sounds great and all, but there are plenty of unknowns and potential caveats to this story, including Chelsea’s situation with Kepa (do we sell? do we bring in competition? how much should we spend again?) and Onana’s personal preferences. He will undoubtedly have plenty of suitors, and if there’s a bidding war for his services, Ajax could easily hit their rumored price tag of around €50-60m.
The financial collapse that some are predicting for football in the wake of COVID-19 could dampen the market, which could be yet another massive slice of uncertainty to all this. No one knows for sure what will happen, but if there is a transfer window and a next season, Onana will feature heavily in it.