Football TransfersErik ten Hag Wins Andre Onana Transfer Battle.
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Erik ten Hag has won his battle to make Andre Onana his new No 1 – two years after sticking by the Cameroon international when he was banned for failing a drug test.

Andre Onana was playing for Ten Hag at Ajax when he tested positive for furosemide, an outlawed diuretic often used as a masking agent to hide other substances. He claimed that he had accidentally taken one of his wife’s slimming pills, believing it to be an aspirin.

The tablets had been prescribed to her after she had given birth. Onana was banned for a year. Howver, the punishment was reduced to nine months on appeal. The goalkeeper still insists he made an innocent mistake.

Meanwhile, he has never forgotten how Ten Hag stood by him during the worst days of his career. Ajax stopped his wages when the ban kicked in – but Ten Hag refused to condemn him. And Onana is now expected to complete a £50 million move to Old Trafford just a year after leaving Ajax for Inter Milan.

Ten Hag made it clear he wants to replace out-of-contract David De Gea with a new ball-playing keeper. But with FFP considerations restricting his budget to £120 million, he has been fighting to convince his bosses to splash the cash when other areas of his team need strengthening.

United have made enquiries about Feyenoord’s Justin Bijlow and Kevin Trapp of Eintracht Frankfurt. Both would be cheaper options. The Reds have even reached the point of making Bijlow a contract offer that would increase his salary by 400 per cent.

But Ten Hag wants Onana. He views the 27-year-old as a key signing as he looks to close the gap on Manchester City. And after guiding United to a third-place finish in the Premier League, winning the Carabao Cup and reaching the FA Cup final, club bosses believe their manager has earned the right to shape transfer policy.

Onana helped Ten Hag win three successive Dutch titles. And Ajax were also minutes away from reaching the 2019 Champions League final. However, they were denied by a dramatic late Tottenham rally.

Former Man United keeper Edwin van der Sar was instrumental in signing Onana for Ajax in 2015. This was after identifying his potential as he came through the academy at Barcelona. Ajax’s chief executive is currently fighting for his life in a Croatian hospital after suffering a stroke on Friday.

Onana once admitted: “I think the world of Van der Sar and Ten Hag, of (Marc) Overmars too. They helped me so much.” Ajax’s fans were not as forgiving as Ten Hag. They turned against the goalkeeper following his drug ban and he was sold to Inter.