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André Onana in talks to delay AFCON participation, prioritizing Manchester United

Posted : 29 December 2023

Manchester United goalkeeper André Onana is reportedly in discussions with the Cameroon FA to potentially delay his release for the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON), which kicks off on January 13 in the Ivory Coast.


The £43 million summer signing wants to limit his time away from Old Trafford and is keen to be available for United's FA Cup third-round clash against Wigan Athletic on January 8. Despite being named in the Cameroon squad, Onana is strategizing to play a role in United's domestic competitions before joining the AFCON campaign, which begins for Cameroon on January 15 against Guinea.


Cameroon's warm-up camp and friendly against Zambia on January 9 in Saudi Arabia clash with Onana's desire to participate in United's FA Cup fixture, creating a potential conflict. If Onana manages to secure a delay, it will allow him to be part of United's lineup for the crucial domestic tie.


However, Erik ten Hag, United's manager, will be forced to debut second-choice goalkeeper Altay Bayindir in Onana's absence. The AFCON knockout rounds commence on January 27, with the final scheduled for February 11, posing a complex scheduling challenge for both Onana and United.


Rigobert Song, Cameroon's coach, has made notable decisions in the squad selection, dropping Eric-Maxim Choupo Moting and surprising many by including 17-year-old Wilfried Nathan Doualla, who plays in the Cameroon league and has never been previously called up.


The squad includes experienced players like captain Vincent Aboubakar and faces a challenging group stage against Guinea, Senegal, and Gambia. Onana's potential delay in joining the AFCON campaign raises questions about United's goalkeeping options during a critical period in domestic and continental competitions.


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