André Onana was one of the top targets of the summer for Manchester United... and they made it happen.

Erik ten Hag is the man behind this story, because the Dutch manager wanted to improve the style of playing including the goalkeeper in their plans and André Onana was already well known by ten Hag after their experience at Ajax.

Of course, the excellent season Onana had at Inter helped Manchester United to decide internally about a surprising change with David de Gea leaving the club and Onana joining.

Sources reveal that Man United scouts were in attendance "more than 10 times" this season between Serie A and Champions League games to monitor Onana progress.

Personality, quality and also his huge leadership are the key factors that convinced Manchester United to proceed with an important bid for Onana.

The initial one was close to €40m plus €5m add-ons, rejected out of hand by Inter as they always wanted more.

But after two weeks negotiations, the two clubs have reached an agreement for €50m package deal, with discussions on add-ons and payment terms taking more than 5 days then the green light arrived on Sunday night with Man United already planning for Onana's travel, medical tests and all the final formal steps before announcing the Cameroon goalkeeper as their second signing of the summer after Mason Mount.

It was never a problem to agree personal terms with Onana despite multiple reports.

The negotiation was very normal as André wanted to join Manchester United since day one; it's important to clarify that he was very happy at Inter, in love with the club, the teammates and the city... but "when he got Manchester United call and Erik ten Hag's direct messages, it was impossible to reject", sources confirm.

Onana has agreed to sign a five year contract valid until June 2028, but it will also include an option valid for further season valid until June 2029; this shows how Manchester United are convinced that they've signed the best possible goalkeeper for the present... and also the future.

The most difficult part of this story for Manchester United was probably to communicate their decision to David de Gea.

Because he's a legend of the club, but also because ten Hag repeated multiple times in public that David was expected to stay as Man United's goalkeeper next season.

The agreement to sign new deal was almost done at the end of March, de Gea was just waiting for club's confirmation then to go and sign the new deal... but it collapsed as Manchester United first decided to change the conditions of the agreement, then told de Gea that their final decision was to proceed with André Onana as new first goalkeeper.

It was impossible for de Gea to stay as backup goalkeeper, not in his competitive style.

This is why it was a sad moment for the Spanish goalkeeper but also for people at the club, not the best way to say goodbye to a fantastic guy and player like de Gea who made history at Manchester United.

But that's football and André Onana is coming very soon to sign and be unveiled as new Red Devils star.

Fabrizio Romano is an Italian sports journalist. He was born in 1993, he lives in Milan and has over 30 million followers in total on the major social networks.


He collaborates with 888sport, CBS Sports, Sky Sport, The Guardian and has been a transfer market expert since 2011. He will take care of a column dedicated to some "Behind the Scenes" of transfers.