Manchester United confirm Onana signing and make Fernandes captain


Manchester United have confirmed the signing of the goalkeeper André Onana on a day when Bruno Fernandes was chosen by Erik ten Hag as his new captain.

Onana, who has cost €51m (£44.1m) plus €4m in add-ons from Internazioanale, has signed a contract until June 2028, with the option of a further year, subject to international clearance.

“To join Manchester United is an incredible honour and I have worked hard all my life to get to this moment, overcoming many obstacles along the way,” the 27-year-old said. “Walking out at Old Trafford to defend our goal and contribute to the team will be another amazing experience. This is the start of a new journey for me, with new teammates, and new ambitions to fight for.

Onana was managed by Ten Hag at Ajax, where the Cameroonian kept 104 clean sheets in 255 appearances, claiming three league titles and two KNVB Cups with before joining Inter in 2022. He expected to arrive in the US in time to be available for selection against Arsenal on Saturday.

Ten Hag named Fernandes as Harry Maguire’s replacement as captain. Fernandes has been the de facto captain since Ten Hag ended the defender’s status as an automatic choice after two matches of last season, the playmaker wearing the armband in 45 matches in the 2022-23 campaign.

Fernandes has scored 64 goals and made 54 assists in 185 United games since joining in January 2020 and has twice won the club’s Sir Matt Busby Player of the Year award.

Erik ten Hag is yet to acquire the centre-forward he is targeting in this window after abandoning the intent to sign Tottenham’s Harry Kane, who is 30 next week.

“I’m not going to say that if Harry Kane became available for the right money I’d turn him down, obviously not,” Cole told MUTV. “But I think what Manchester United have been doing, for the past five or six years, is bringing people in who are in their mid-30s or late-30s for a couple of years, then we do it again the season after and we do it again.

“That’s why we’ve found ourselves in this position now. Long term, we’ve not looked for that young centre-forward who can carry Manchester United in for the next five to 10 years or whatever it may be. That’s what Manchester United has been built on – the manager going into a season with three or four strikers.

“You’re guaranteed what you’re going to get. You might move someone else on, but you’ve got someone at that age who can carry the club forward. For instance, my position, I moved on, Ruud van Nistelrooy was there [at 24 in 2001]and went on for many years.

“But we’re buying older centre-forwards for a hell of a lot of money and then find ourselves in the same position a couple of years later. This is Manchester United – we’re better than that.”

Ten Hag has turned his attention to Rasmus Højlund of Atalanta, who want about €70m (£60.7m) for the Norwegian.