Henderson kept his 10th Premier League clean sheet of the season in Sheffield United’s win over Norwich at the weekend and is widely expected to be part of England’s Euro 2020 squad.
The 22-year-old is already considered to be one of the best goalkeepers in the top flight, having initially starred on loan for Sheffield United in the Championship last season.
The Daily Mail claims that an ambitious Henderson has told Blades colleagues that he will back next season if his parent club are unwilling to dispense with De Gea as number one.
“He wants to come back. He wants to play for Man United, obviously – he’s not going to lie – but if he can’t do that, he wants to play for Sheffield United,” the newspaper quotes captain and teammate Billy Sharp as saying on the situation.
The key for Henderson is continuing to be a starter, which is almost certainly not going to happen at Manchester United unless there are drastic and unexpected changes this summer.
What Is Man Utd’s Stance?
90min revealed in February that Manchester United could explore and consider selling Henderson to Sheffield United this summer in a permanent deal that includes a buy-back clause.
A source told 90min that Henderson is not expected to be in Manchester next season. Any sale with buy-back clause would be with a view to Henderson ultimately being the long-term successor to De Gea at Old Trafford, with the Spaniard set to turn 30 next season.
United are unwilling to cut ties with Henderson and see the situation as similar to that at Chelsea a number of years ago when the Blues were balancing an established Petr Cech and an emerging Thibaut Courtois – the latter eventually replaced the former after three years on loan.
Why a Buy-Back Is Better Than a Loan
A permanent deal with buy-back clause would be more favourable to Sheffield United than continuing the existing loan arrangements. Even though new FIFA rules will now put a cap on international loans, Premier League clubs are already limited to just two registered loan players from other teams in the division at any one time.
Another loan for Henderson next season would eat into that small quota and restrict what the Blades can do in the transfer market - particularly if they do end up qualifying for European football and are in need greater squad depth to cope with the additional demands.
Any Other Interest?
It was reported last month that both Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain were keeping an eye on Henderson, with a view to possibly swooping in as they assess their own goalkeeping needs.
Keylor Navas is current PSG number one after joining from Real Madrid last summer, but at 33 the Costa Rican is likely to only have a limited career in Paris.
Chelsea, meanwhile, have only just restored world record signing Kepa Arrizabalaga to the starting XI after the Spaniard was recently dropped because of his form. His long-term future remains uncertain and there was more gossip about Henderson interest over the weekend.