Andre Onana, Manchester United‘s goalkeeper, is contemplating skipping duty with Cameroon in the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), a decision that could have consequences for his future at Old Trafford, reported by GOAL. Onana's challenging initiation at Manchester United, following his £48 million transfer from Ajax and Inter, has been marked by several costly errors, raising doubts about his suitability as a long-term goalkeeping option. Speculation even suggests a possible return of David de Gea to England as a free agent.
In a surprising turn, Onana reversed his international retirement in 2023, making him eligible for selection by Cameroon. However, he is reportedly considering forgoing participation in the AFCON to focus on proving his mettle to United manager Erik ten Hag. While this decision aligns with Onana's desire to prioritize his club commitments, FIFA rules stipulate that players selected for international tournaments must forego domestic action if they decline the invitation.
The specific rule states, “A player who has been called up by his association for one of its representative teams is, unless otherwise agreed by the relevant association, not entitled to play for the club with which he is registered during the period for which he has been released or should have been released.” This includes an additional period of five days.
What's next for Andre Onana and Manchester United?
If Cameroon grants to Andre Onana's wishes and doesn't select him, the issue becomes settled. However, if he is chosen and opts out, he could face ineligibility for United during the AFCON, missing crucial Premier League games against Tottenham, Wolves, West Ham, and Aston Villa, as well as the FA Cup third-round fixture. Onana faces a pivotal decision in early 2024 that could shape his future at Manchester United.