Manchester United could be set to keep goalkeeper Dean Henderson at Old Trafford next season as it emerged yesterday that Sheffield United have had an official bid rejected for another keeper.
Henderson has been on loan at Sheffield United for two years and has been in sensational form, earning a call-up to Gareth Southgate’s England squad. He was widely believed to be runner-up to Burnley’s Nick Pope as the goalkeeping selection in the Premier League Team of the Season.
Meanwhile at Old Trafford, David de Gea’s form has been a concern. He has made a string of errors over the last two seasons and statistically ranks among the lowest performers in the League.
There has been much speculation over whether United’s manager will stick by De Gea or give the 23-year-old a chance between the sticks next season. Henderson for his part has made it clear that if he does return to Old Trafford, that it should be to compete for the number one jersey.
He understandably does not want to sit on the bench as an understudy at this stage of his career.
Many pundits and journalists have suggested Solskjaer would give the Englishman another year in South Yorkshire before giving him the nod at United, but the fact that the Blades are trying to sign a new keeper is a clear indication that this is not going to be the case.
Their £12 million bid for relegated Bournemouth’s keeper Aaron Ramsdale, although rejected, is convincing evidence that they have been told by United that Henderson will not be available to them again next season.
And since there is no reason why United would loan him out to a different club nor why they would sell him, the logical conclusion is that ‘Hendo’ will play for Manchester United next season.
Where that leaves De Gea is unclear. It will not be easy to sell a player whose salary is around double those of the world’s best goalkeepers, who will be turning 30 in November and who has been playing so poorly.
United yesterday bought out another expensive contract – that of Alexis Sanchez – to facilitate a move away so they will perhaps do the same for the Spaniard.