Romano says Henderson wants to leave but plays down Ajax links

Fabrizio Romano says Dean Henderson wants to leave Manchester United.

The respected journalist said it could take until the summer for a suitable offer to come in, but the England international wants to play.

He did not make it 100 per cent clear whether he was referring to a permanent or loan exit but the former seems most likely.

A longer-term loan could be sensible, as it would give Henderson regular gametime while also leaving the door open for him to be United’s number one in future.

There have been recent links with Ajax for Henderson, but Romano says that there are currently no talks ongoing between Henderson and the high-flying Dutch club.

Perhaps that was just a link which came from former Red Devils goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar being CEO at Ajax, or they could just be biding their time before making a move.

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United should try to keep Henderson

Henderson has the quality to be United’s long-term goalkeeper, but the timing is not quite right at the moment.

There is no issue with Henderson going somewhere for 18 months and playing regularly, giving himself the best possible chance of making World Cup 2022.

Then he can reassess the situation at United upon his return, but Romano is suggesting the goalkeeper’s mind is made up.

Another potential option for United could be a buy-back clause, allowing them to try and make Henderson their number one goalkeeper at a later date, while also giving him a clean break now and getting some money in.

Tom Heaton is a capable number two goalkeeper with Premier League experience, so United – at the moment – could lose Henderson without any significant issue at all.

But Covid is of course a consideration and the last thing United will want is to shed players only to be left short if cases or fixtures mount up in the new year.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.