Andre Onana to disappoint new Man Utd signing due to ‘impossible’ situation

Erik ten Hag praised his side's character to battle back and win against Forest

Manchester United goalkeeper Andre Onana will not represent Cameroon at the Africa Cup of Nations despite reports suggesting he could return to international duty, it has been claimed. Onana has not played for Cameroon since leaving their World Cup camp midway through last year’s tournament in Qatar. 

Onana is reported to have fallen out with head coach Rigobert Song during the campaign in Qatar. The 27-year-old has not featured in a Cameroon squad since. 

However, reports in Africa claimed earlier this week that Onana was set to return to the international fold. That would likely have left United with little quality in goal for a month at the start of 2024. 

It was reported that Onana would play at the Africa Cup of Nations, which runs from January 13 to February 11 in 2024. That would have seen United’s £43m summer signing miss four Premier League matches. 

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But The Athletic claim that sources close to the situation say it is ‘impossible’ for the former Inter Milan ace to play for Cameroon any time soon. There does not appear to have been a rebuilding of the relationship between the player and his national team head coach. 

It will come as good news to Erik ten Hag, who is desperate to upgrade the No 2 goalkeeping position. Express Sport understands that Dean Henderson is set to join Crystal Palace next week and will undergo a medical with United’s Premier League rivals. 

That leaves just Tom Heaton as the only recognised first-team goalkeeper at Old Trafford aside from Onana. United could yet enter the market for another shot-stopper before Friday’s transfer deadline. 

The report adds that the Red Devils are seeking a £5m deal for Fenerbahce’s Altay Bayindir. The 25-year-old is apparently set for a medical with Ten Hag’s side but will now not get as much game time as expected if Onana remains away from the Cameroon national team. 

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It comes as Onana has faced scrutiny for his early performances in a United shirt. Signed in part due to his ability on the ball, he has suffered a couple of errors in his opening three appearances for his new club. 

Onana was fortunate not to concede a penalty during United’s 1-0 win over Wolves on the opening day. He clattered into striker Sasa Kalajdzic and Wolves were informed that the VAR should have intervened and given them a late penalty. 

He was then sat down far too easily by Nottingham Forest’s Taiwo Awoniyi as the Midlands outfit took an early 2-0 lead at United on Saturday. However, they rescued three points thanks to a spirited comeback, winning 3-2. 

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