Ajax goalkeeper Andre Onana has revealed that the ‘time has come’ for him to take the next step in his career once the transfer window opens.
The shot-stopper joined Barcelona’s youth academy at the age of 14, but left five years later in 2015 to join Ajax. Now 24 years of age, Onana is not only the Dutch side’s undisputed first-choice goalkeeper, but he is also regarded as one of the finest in Europe in his position.
Onana has made 39 appearances in all competitions this season for Ajax, keeping 15 clean sheets in this time. His form hasn’t gone unnoticed, with the likes of Chelsea and Tottenham both showing an interest in his services. However, equally, Onana has been linked with a return to Barça, with the player himself admitting he would return to his former club if the opportunity presented itself in the summer.
The Ajax man has now revealed that he intends to leave the club. Speaking to Dutch newspaper Algemeen Dagblad, Onana insisted that he is ‘very happy’ at Ajax, but now the time has come for him to move on.
He said: “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.
“We made that appointment last year. I do not yet know what will happen, but my ambitions and agreements are clear. ”
The Dutch report adds that although Onana has a contract with Ajax until the summer of 2022, he wishes ‘to make use’ of an agreement he made with the club when he penned that deal. It was decided that Onana would remain loyal to Ajax for at least one more season, but if a club expressed an interest in his services in the summer of 2020, Ajax would cooperate.
Of course, due to the current coronavirus crisis, the Eredivisie agreed to cancel the 2019/20 season, meaning Onana could potentially have played his final game for the club already.
But while, most notably, Barça are keen to bring him back, they will need to sort out reserve keeper Neto’s future at the club, while they will also have to agree a fee – with Ajax currently demanding €40m for their star man.
Then there is Marc-André ter Stegen to consider, who will surely remain the Catalan’s first choice between the sticks.
Nonetheless, Onana’s intentions are clear as he looks to take the next step in his career.