Erik ten Hag to hold showdown talks with second Man Utd player after U-turn

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Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag is reportedly set for another round of showdown talks later this week after Andre Onana’s Cameroon U-turn. The Red Devils assumed that the former Inter Milan star had retired from international duty before he accepted a recall to their squad for September’s fixtures. 

Onana was sent home from the World Cup last winter after a falling out with manager Rigobert Song. It is claimed that the pair clashed over the coach’s tactics and preferred style of goalkeeping. 

The 27-year-old made himself unavailable for international breaks in March and June this year. However, after pressure from the Cameroonian government and football federation, he accepted an invitation to play in his country’s vital Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers in September. 

Cameroon have now qualified for the tournament which takes place from January 13 to February 11. Onana could miss up to nine United matches in the first few months of 2024 if Cameroon go all the way to the final. 

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According to the Mirror, Ten Hag will hold showdown talks with Onana to gauge his thoughts on his international future. The Dutchman will learn if the goalkeeper plans to take part in the tournament. 

If he does, it could see summer transfer deadline day signing Altay Bayindir introduced to Premier League football. Onana could miss four Premier League games, two FA Cup matches, two League Cup fixtures and a Champions League knockout game

United also have the vastly experienced goalkeeper Tom Heaton should they need to call upon someone other than Bayindir. The latter was signed from Fenerbahce in the final hours of the window. 

Ten Hag insisted he knew ‘everything’ about Onana’s surprise Cameroon call-up in August. He said: “I know everything about it, of course we spoke about it. We are in good contact with Andre.

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“We are on the same page. We know how we constructed the squad and can deal with it, if we need to.”

But reported discussions with Onana over his international future will come just days after the United boss held a crunch meeting with Jadon Sancho. The pair appear to have fallen out after Ten Hag publicly criticised the winger’s training performances. 

Sancho posted a statement to his X account calling the claim “untrue” in a sensational take-down of Ten Hag’s comments. The post, which was pinned to his profile for over a week, was deleted on Tuesday.

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