ARSENAL have been dealt a transfer blow as long-term target Andre Onana has a verbal agreement with Inter Milan to join in 2022, reports say.
The Ajax goalkeeper has agreed to join the Serie A champions when his contract expires next summer.
According to reputable Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano, Inter have had the verbal agreement with Onana since July.
And Gunners goalkeeper Bernd Leno – whose contract also expires next summer and is available on a free transfer – was never an option for Inter.
He said on Twitter: “Inter have reached a verbal agreement with André Onana since last July. He’s ready to join as free agent in 2022.
“Contract NOT signed yet but at final stages. That’s why OL and Nice talks collapsed.
“Inter want Onana as new goalkeeper – Leno was never an option.”
Onana – who was being tracked by a host of top European clubs – rejected a new contract offer last month.
FREE BETS: GET OVER £2,000 IN NEW CUSTOMER DEALS
But the Cameroonian international hasn’t played a competitive game of football since February.
The 25-year-old was banned earlier on in the year for 12 months by Uefa, but had his ban reduced to nine months in June.
Onana was found to have furosemide – a banned substance – in his urine after an ‘out of competition’ check on 30 October 2020.
He claimed to have accidentally taken some of his wife’s medication, mistaking it for aspirin.
Onana has served his ban but has been sent to train with Ajax’s youth side.
Arsenal legend and current Ajax sporting director Marc Overmars has called on Onana to ‘earn’ his spot on the first team again.
Overmars said: “We have decided that Andre will start goalkeeper training and team training sessions with Jong Ajax.
“The question, for now, is whether he will earn a spot with the first team in the long term.
“We have now moved on without him and have recruited two keepers during his suspension.
“Both an experienced and a talented one, the latter being one with an eye on the future.
“The team has already started the season and is in the process of teambuilding.”
⚽ Read our Arsenal live blog for the latest news and transfer gossip from The Emirates