Date published: Monday 4th May 2020 4:50
Ajax manager Erik ten Hag has confirmed that the club have an agreement that a Chelsea and Tottenham target will be allowed to leave the club this summer.
Cameroon goalkeeper Andre Onana recently stated his desire to take a ‘new step’ in his career after five years in Amsterdam, with the Eredivisie champions having already lost a number of the players who got them to the Champions League semi-finals last season over the past 10 months.
Matthijs de Ligt and Frenkie de Jong joined Juventus and Barcelona respectively last summer, while Hakim Ziyech has agreed a move to Stamford Bridge.
Chelsea are looking to sign Onana as a replacement for Kepa Arrizabalaga, who was dropped by Frank Lampard earlier in the season only to win his place back before the campaign was halted.
Tottenham, meanwhile, have begun the hunt for Hugo Lloris’s long-term successor and are said to have identified Onana as their top target to replace the Frenchman.
Onana, who has also been tipped to potentially replace Marc-Andre ter Stegen at Barcelona, claims he has an agreement with Ajax that he will be allowed to leave Amsterdam if their price tag – believed to be around £25million – is met, and Ten Hag has now confirmed that to be the case.
“Andre is very important to us and of course we don’t want to lose him,” the Ajax boss told Algemeen Dagblad.
“But it’s true that we have an agreement from last year about the development scenario and what steps we will take if the right club comes in at the right price.”
On whether either Chelsea, Spurs or Barca have turned their interest into a formal offer, Ten Hag added: “As far as I know, no concrete offer has been made to Ajax.”
Onana won the Eredivisie title last season, while the side were also competing for the title this season prior to the coronavirus crisis seeing the campaign voided.
However, the 24-year-old has made it clear he is ready to leave, saying last week: “Don’t get me wrong, I am very happy with Ajax and I am very grateful to the club.
“It was five great years here, but now my time has come to take a step. I don’t yet know what will happen, but my ambitions and agreements are clear.”
Meanwhile, Chelsea’s bid to sign a top summer target will reportedly ‘cover the player in gold’ should he accept – but luring him away from his current employers is proving extremely problematic.
The star in question is Dries Mertens, who next month comes to the end of his contract at Napoli and will be available on a free transfer if he does not extend his deal. Read more…