The Blues are considering a move for a top-class goalkeeper in the summer despite the return to form of Kepa Arrizabalaga in recent weeks
The 23-year-old Cameroon international is widely expected to depart Amsterdam at the end of the season and has shown a preference for a Premier League transfer.
Onana is a close friend of Hakim Ziyech, who will join the Blues at the end of the season having agreed a deal to move to Stamford Bridge during the January transfer window. The Morocco international playmaker is known to be keen to see Onana follow him to London.
Chelsea have been struggling in the goalkeeping department all season long with Kepa Arrizabalaga dropped by coach Frank Lampard earlier this year. Kepa, signed for a world record fee from Athletic Bilbao, is among the least impressive goalkeepers in the Premier League this season when it comes to save percentage at 56 per cent.
Replacement Willy Caballero, 38, is not of the requisite standard to be Chelsea’s first choice going forward into the long term.
Kepa has forced his way back into the starting line-up and played well in his two games against Liverpool and Everton after five games on the bench. Even if Kepa stays, Onana would be willing to join a top club even if he had to compete with a goalkeeper for a number one spot in the belief that he could win the battle.
Meanwhile, Barcelona have identified Onana as a potential goalkeeping target as contract renewal talks with Marc-Andre Ter Stegen drag on. Germany international Ter Stegen is looking for a wage rise to around €15 million (£13m/$17m) per season, behind only Lionel Messi in the Barca pay scale, but so far the Catalans are unwilling to offer that much.
Nonetheless, the Spanish league title holders remain keen to hold onto their current No.1. Onana could return to Barcelona – where he came through the academy – in order to provide competition for Ter Stegen. Onana could be interested in a return to Barcelona even with Ter Stegen still at the club in the hope that he could compete with him to take the spot.
However, Barcelona’s presidential elections – which are likely to be conducted in June – threaten to slow their transfer activity this summer, giving rivals a possible edge.
Tottenham are also looking at Onana, with the form of Hugo Lloris causing trouble for Jose Mourinho’s side and back-up Paulo Gazzaniga failing to impress when called upon.
Manchester United have also shown an interest in Onana but any move is unlikely with the club hopeful that both David de Gea and Sheffield United loanee Dean Henderson have long-term futures at Old Trafford.
Onana’s current contract expires in June 2022 and Ajax are unlikely to put up a fight to keep their goalkeeper due to a gentleman’s agreement that certain players can leave if an offer reflecting their value comes in the off-season.