Arsenal have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana as the Cameroon international reportedly prefers a move to French side Lyon over the Gunners.
Manager Mikel Arteta and technical director Edu are set for a busy summer transfer window as the two try to bridge the gap between the Gunners and the rest of the so-called top six.
football.london understands that the club wants to sign a minimum of five players this summer, including adding a goalkeeper, two defenders and two midfielders before the transfer window slams shut on August 31. It’s also understood that Onana is the club’s main target when it comes to the keeping position.
The north London outfit holds a keen interest in Ajax shot-stopper Onana but will have to stave off competition from Ligue 1 side Lyon if they wish to make the Cameroonian an Arsenal player come next season.
Some reports from France claim that Peter Bosz’s side lead the race for Onana, who is banned from playing until November because of a doping violation, but the deal is yet to be complete.
Arteta still has a chance of landing the 25-year-old but may have to offer him guaranteed game time ahead of current no.1 Bernd Leno – something he refused to promise Argentine keeper Emi Martinez last summer before the Hale End graduate moved to Aston Villa in September.
There are still question marks over the Leno’s future at the club and the Spanish coach could decide that telling Onana he would be the first-choice goalkeeper at the Emirates next season would make for a useful transfer strategy given his rare blend of standout distribution, cat-like reflexes and the fact he is four years Leno’s junior.
However, Lyon can offer Onana European football next season, something the Gunners cannot after an eighth-place finish resulted in them failing to qualify for any European competition for the first time in 25 years, which may tip the scales in the favour of the French side.
If a move for the Cameroon international fails to materialise Arsenal may be forced to turn their attention to Sheffield United goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, someone they have been heavily linked with in recent weeks.