Manchester United will decline any permanent bids for goalkeeper Dean Henderson when he returns from the season-long loan stint at Sheffield United, ESPN reports.
The 23-year-old spent the previous campaign on a temporary deal with Sheffield in the Championship and his performances contributed towards the club’s promotion to the top-flight after more than a decade.
Chris Wilder’s men were able to re-sign him on loan for the second-season running this term and the shot-stopper has been largely consistent. He has managed 10 clean sheets – just one less than Burnley’s Nick Pope, who leads the race for the Premier League Golden Glove.
According to ESPN, United won’t consider the permanent exit of Henderson once his temporary deal with Sheffield concludes. David de Gea is currently the undisputed first-choice goalkeeper for the Red Devils but they are said to consider Henderson as a ‘viable long-term replacement’.
With the Euros next summer, Henderson has a good chance of making the cut to the England senior squad and he is unlikely to be satisfied with a back-up role behind De Gea next term.
As a result, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side seem prepared to sanction his temporary exit for the sixth time in his career but they will reward him with an improved deal beyond June 2022 before the move.
Sheffield should return with another loan proposal for the shot-stopper this summer but they could face competition from other Premier League sides, who may be prepared to provide a better package for the temporary deal.
Meanwhile, the Blades are currently within two points off Manchester United in fifth, who are holding onto the final Champions League place following the two-year European competition ban for Manchester City.
Of course, City can appeal the ban through the Court of Arbitration for Sport but for the time being, the Blades have their Champions League destiny in their own hands, having played a game less than United.
That would be a miraculous effort for a club, who would have been pleased with top-flight survival at the start of the season. Henderson will definitely have a key role to play between the sticks to ensure the club’s strong end to the campaign.
The season is currently suspended due to the coronavirus pandemic but there are plans for a restart on June 8. Everything will depend on whether the UK government relaxes the lockdown measures after May 7.