Arsenal’s goalkeeper coach Inaki Cana has reportedly given his seal of approval on Ajax star Andre Onana to replace the Gunners’ No.1 Bernd Leno.
Mikel Arteta is still looking for competition for Leno after agreeing to sell Emiliano Martinez to Aston Villa last summer.
Mat Ryan and Alex Runarsson were brought in as cover but neither are considered as ideal options between the sticks if Leno were to be sidelined.
Previously the club were looking at David Raya, who worked with Cana at Brentford, but he is no longer a target after the Bees’ promotion to the Premier League wiped out a £10million release clause in his contract.
Now the Gunners’ are seemingly focusing their efforts on landing Onana, who is currently observing a 12-month ban for doping offences.
The Cameroonian’s appeal was heard on Wednesday by the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), who could overturn or reduce the ban.
Either way, according to Dutch publication NOS , Arsenal look intent on signing Onana, who has pleaded his innocence at the charge and claims his positive test for the banned substance, furosemide, was because he took the drug by mistake.
If the CAS do choose to overturn the original ruling, Arsenal are planning on paying the reported £7.7million required to secure Onana’s services.
In the event of his ban being upheld, Onana will instead be available for around just £1.7m due to his Ajax contract expiring next summer – a fee Arsenal are more than willing to pay.
As reports Football London , Cana is so convinced by his talent that he is said to have made a personal recommendation to Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta to go after the 25-year-old.
Cana worked with the stopper during his time at Barcelona when Onana was learning his trade in the club’s youth team.
While Leno has had a decent enough season despite Arsenal’s struggles, it is felt Onana is better suited to Arteta’s demands of his team to play out from the back due to his composure on the ball and ability with his feet.
It’s unlikely Leno would want to play second fiddle if Onana were to come in, and The Telegraph reported that the German could move on this summer.
However, Leno insisted he had no such plans just a few weeks ago.
“I am still happy at Arsenal. Arsenal is still a big club, a big name in the world and in the Premier League,” the 29-year-old told Sky Sports.
“There is nobody in the dressing room who says ‘I want to leave the club, I am not happy here anymore’.
“We still have a good environment at the club and in the dressing room. Of course, at times it was not easy this season, but this is part of football.
“It’s not good to feel sorry for ourselves, we need to move forward and change it to a positive as soon as possible.”
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