The future of Dean Henderson at Manchester United has been a talking point for months.
The 23-year-old enjoyed a second successive successful loan spell at Sheffield United and is now being touted as a potential England number one.
A £12 million transfer bid elsewhere in the Premier League may have handed out a clue about where his immediate future does not lie…
What’s the latest?
According to the Guardian, Sheffield United have bid £12 million to try and sign goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale from relegated Bournemouth.
Sky Sports reported the same, with both stating that the Cherries have knocked back Chris Wilder’s attempts to buy back the stopper who left Bramall Lane in 2017.
How is this relevant to United? It’s unlikely Sheffield United would be shopping for an expensive new stopper if they were getting Henderson back on loan next season.
Add in that they have also signed ex-Rangers goalkeeper Wes Foderingham too.
That indicates that Henderson will not kick off next season with the Blades, but what will his next move be?
Stay at United?
ESPN report that despite question marks over David de Gea’s form, he will start the 2020/21 season as United’s number one.
They claim Henderson is set for another season out on loan, as he is reluctant to spend the year as de Gea’s understudy.
That contrasts with Sky’s report, which states Henderson has told United he wants to compete with de Gea next term.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has tied down the Spaniard to an extended contract which doesn’t expire until 2023 and clearly retains faith in his ability.
That raises the question; if Henderson were to be heading out on loan again, why are Sheffield United seemingly not the destination?
There are a couple of potential reasons.
Why not return to Bramall Lane?
The first factor to consider is money. Manchester Evening News reported last month that United are willing to offer Henderson a new deal to reflect his increased status.
There’s a chance that improved terms could push Henderson beyond what Sheffield United can afford to pay.
That raises the prospect that United could simply loan Henderson to another Premier League club, who can cover his wage.
Alternatively, United may wish to loan him to a club who are competing in Europe next season.
In England, those are all United’s domestic rivals, and it remains unlikely that Solskjaer would want to strengthen say Chelsea by doing a deal with them.
That raises the prospect he could go abroad in search of European football.
An impressive Premier League campaign is one thing but doing the business in the Champions League would push Henderson to another level in the eyes of Solskjaer and likely Gareth Southgate too.
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