Man Utd regret as Prem star's agent reveals Erik ten Hag blocked 'very close' transfer – Football News

Man Utd regret as Prem star's agent reveals Erik ten Hag blocked 'very close' transfer

Erik ten Hag reportedly blocked Man Utd’s move for Emi Martinez (Image: Getty)

Manchester United were left regretting moving for Andre Onana instead of signing Aston Villa goalkeeper Emi Martinez, the Argentine’s agent has claimed. Gonzalo Goni insists the Red Devils were ‘very close’ to signing Martinez before Erik ten Hag blocked the transfer.

Ten Hag has signed several players with whom he shared an existing relationship. Onana, Lisandro Martinez and Antony had all played for his previous club Ajax, while the Dutchman was aware of Mason Mount’s talent from his brief loan spell with Eredivisie outfit Vitesse.

United wanted a new goalkeeper last season after Ten Hag decided to part ways with the long-serving David De Gea. The head coach was keen to sign Onana and ultimately got his way.

However, football agent Goni has revealed that United chiefs actually wanted to sign World Cup winner Martinez from Villa and still believe he was the ‘ideal’ goalkeeping addition. That deal was apparently ‘very close’ before Ten Hag opted for Onana.

“Last year he was very close to Manchester United, the coach chose Onana, because he already knew him,” Goni told ESPN.

“But everyone at Manchester United later maintained that the ideal goalkeeper to win was Emiliano Martínez.”

Onana was signed in a £43million transfer from Inter Milan. His performances came under scrutiny as United came eighth in the Premier League, but he did win the FA Cup. The Cameroon international vastly improved as his first campaign in England progressed, despite him playing behind an irregular back four.

Ten Hag wanted an upgrade on De Gea, who faced criticism for his distribution throughout his 12 years at United. Onana came with a reputation for being good with his feet but made a couple of costly handling errors early in the campaign.

Emi Martinez

Manchester United apparently came ‘very close’ to signing Emi Martinez from Aston Villa (Image: Getty)

United are not expected to sign a new first-choice goalkeeper this summer. Ten Hag will put his faith in Onana despite a summer rebuild overseen by minority owners INEOS.

Meanwhile, an overhaul of the club’s sporting structure is finally complete. Dan Ashworth has finally completed a move from Newcastle to become United’s new sporting director. Christopher Vivell is the club’s temporary director of global talent.

Ten Hag retained his job despite last season’s largely poor form – save for the FA Cup triumph. INEOS spoke with Thomas Tuchel but decided to keep their current boss.

United are yet to make any signings this summer but their business is expected to accelerate now that Ashworth has settled into his role. Defensive reinforcements are likely to be high on the agenda at Old Trafford.