Chelsea are looking to strike a deal to sign Inter Milan goalkeeper Andre Onana in the summer transfer window, according to reports.
Onana joined the Serie A giants on a free transfer last summer after his Ajax contract ended.
In 2021, the Cameroonian shot-stopper was suspended for nine months by UEFA after testing positive for a banned substance.
He was not even allowed to train on Ajax’s premises and when he was available again, struggled for game time.
After a difficult period in his career, Onana is enjoying his football again with Inter.
He has had a superb campaign and is a huge reason his side have defied the odds to reach the last four of the Champions League, where they will face city rivals AC Milan.
There have been multiple reports over the last month or so linking Onana with a move to Stamford Bridge.
One report claimed that Chelsea were hoping to sign tempt Inter into a sale by offering them €40million and Edouard Mendy for the 27-year-old.
And another later stated that the Blues would be willing to give the Nerazzurri €40m plus Kepa Arrizabalaga, who is now the club’s first-choice goalkeeper ahead of Mendy.
Either of those deals would be pretty interesting. Saying that, a fresh report from Matt Law of The Telegraph has said Chelsea are interested in signing Onana for £40m – with no mention of a player going in the opposite direction.
Law says the Blues want to ‘manoeuvre themselves into pole position’ to land the Cameroon goalkeeper, with the Premier League club ‘particularly keen’ to make it happen.
Obviously, there is no permanent head coach in place at this moment in time, so for the club to be very eager to sign a certain player is slightly dodgy, but modern football is slightly dodgy at the best of times.
Mauricio Pochettino is expected to come in and the club ‘remain confident’ they can agree a deal with the ex-Tottenham boss, the report adds.
Pochettino will need to give the club their blessing to sign Onana, with plans in place to bring in a new goalkeeper, midfielder and striker.
With Onana on the agenda, Chelsea will need to offload Kepa and/or Mendy.
The report states that they are ‘expected’ to let the latter leave at the end of the season after they ‘failed to agree a new contract’ with the Senegalese ‘keeper.
Despite his improved performances this term, offers for Kepa will also be ‘considered’, though his departure is ‘less likely’ due to his hefty wages.
Inter are expected to want at least £40m for Onana and Chelsea will be happy to learn that the player’s salary ‘is likely to fit within the club’s wage structure’.
Chelsea want a new striker, as mentioned before, and have a decision to make with Romelu Lukaku, who is set to return to Stamford Bridge at the end of the season following his loan spell with Inter.
Law says the Blues will ask Lukaku if he wants to be a part of Pochettino’s project, and that they are expected to let Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang leave on a free transfer.
It is emphasised that Chelsea will only look to make ‘two or three’ key signings with the primary focus on trimming the club’s bloated playing squad.