Andre Onana may elect to see out the final year of his Ajax contract as Arsenal are yet to advance their interest in a summer transfer, according to The Athletic.
The Gunners had assessed a move for the Cameroonian but were hoping to see a greater reduction to his ban. The goalkeeper is currently serving a suspension for a doping violation that the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) have reduced from 12 to nine months.
Onana will now be able to return to the field on November 4 but also start training from September 4. Arsenal planned to reconsider a pursuit of the 25-year-old after CAS issued their verdict, having assessed the decision and implications.
But Arsenal have not stepped up their interest in a deal for Onana this summer and now risk missing out. He is considering staying at Ajax for the 2021/22 season and leaving for free next year after his contract expires.
Onana will likely have a wealth of suitors at his door should he leave Ajax as a free agent. It is also possible that his options will include more desirable destinations than north London.
Arsenal were the favourites to sign Onana this summer against the backdrop of uncertainty surrounding Bernd Leno’s future. NOS claimed earlier this month it was ‘almost certain’ the shot-stopper would leave Ajax to avoid him leaving for free.
Arsenal passing on cheap Onana transfer?
CAS reducing the length of Onana’s ban meant Arsenal would face a larger fee to sign the Ajax goalkeeper. NOS added that the Amsterdam outfit would demand €6-9million (£5-8m) if the sanction was reduced or a relatively cheap €2m (£1.7m) if left at the original year.
That may have played a key role in Arsenal, so far, not electing to advance their interest in Onana. Given the Ajax ace will still not be available to play until November and also miss time for the Africa Cup of Nations, which Cameroon are hosting next January.
Mikel Arteta might not be too keen on replacing Leno with Onana to then be without him for so long. Thus, the Arsenal hierarchy are keeping their options open for the time being.